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The Unique Challenges Faced by Millennial Caregivers

Older teenagers and young adults in their 20s aren’t the people we picture when we think of “caregivers.” Often we think of older adults, caring for much older parents. But it’s becoming more and more common for the younger generation—some not yet out of high school—to step in as caregivers for aging and ailing parents and grandparents. Read...

Help End Alzheimer’s on The Longest Day

On the longest day of the year — the summer solstice on June 21 — you’re invited to team up with the Alzheimer’s Association to help end Alzheimer’s. The Longest Day is an event all about love. Love for those affected by Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association invites you to join with family and friends across the country and the world to raise funds and awareness to help end Alzheimer’s disease. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today. By 2050, this number could rise as high as 16 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Together, with the Alzheimer’s Association, you can help raise awareness for care and support while advancing research toward finding a cure. Why June 21? The duration of the sunrise-to-sunset event on the longest day of the year symbolizes the challenging journey faced by those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Teams are encouraged to turn their passions and hobbies into unique experiences they can share with others as they participate in The Longest Day to honor those living with the disease. Here’s how you can participate: Select an activity you love. Do something you love — or honor a caregiver, someone living with Alzheimer’s, or someone you’ve lost by selecting his or her favorite hobby. Pick a way to participate. Start or join a team, host an event, or register as an individual. Choose the way that works best for you! Raise money to move the cause forward. To advance...

Mental Health Awareness Month: Depression and Dementia

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we would be remiss if we didn’t take some time to discuss how mental health issues can affect those living with dementia and their caregivers. Depression is commonly associated with Alzheimer’s. Experts estimate that up to 40 percent of people living with Alzheimer’s disease suffer from significant depression. Identifying depression in someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s isn’t always easy, but it’s important that family and caregivers keep an eye out for the symptoms of depression and seek help if they suspect their loved one may be depressed. Many symptoms of Alzheimer’s mimic the symptoms of depression, such as apathy, social withdrawal, isolation, difficulty concentrating, and loss of interest in activities. Someone with dementia who is also suffering from depression may experience sadness, hopelessness and guilt, among other feelings, but they will often find it difficult to articulate these feelings due to cognitive impairment as a result of the dementia. Depression in someone with dementia may be less severe, or have symptoms that come and go. No matter how severe, if you notice any signs of depression in your loved one, discuss them with your loved one’s primary care provider. Diagnosis and treatment of depression can be especially helpful and may improve your loved one’s ability to function and overall sense of well-being. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about getting a referral to a geriatric psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating depression in senior adults. Diagnosing Depression in Alzheimer’s According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in order for a person with dementia to be diagnosed with depression, he...

Memory Disorder Diagnosis: 3 Things Families Need to Consider

The founder and CEO of The Cottages offers advice for families with loved ones in the early stages of a memory disorder. Frisco, TX, April 27, 2017 – Finding out a loved one has been diagnosed with a memory disorder in its early stages can leave families feeling lost and more than a little overwhelmed. Many are likely to find themselves bombarded with information from healthcare providers, and facts and figures they search on their own. Obtaining expert guidance is a must, but so too is taking meaningful steps to assist the loved one as much as possible. “Memory disorders are progressive, often incurable conditions, that can leave loved ones and their families unsure of what to do or where to turn,” says Trent Quinn, founder, president and CEO of The Cottages. “In the earliest stages, there are several important steps families can take to help their loved ones and potentially better position themselves for what the future may hold.” Taking these three actions can be helpful for families and their loved ones: Work closely with healthcare providers – At the onset of a memory disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, working with healthcare providers to learn more about the condition, its signs, symptoms and how best to help a loved is important. Families may find, for example, that medications are available to potentially slow the progression. While these are not cures, they may help buy loved ones and their families precious time. Address financial and legal issues – It is often strongly recommended that families begin the process of addressing legal and financial matters while a loved one is...