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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Shedding Light on a Silent Struggle.
an elderly woman with alzheimer's sitting in chair with her caregiver holding her hand
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. At Miller Elder Law Firm, we advocate tirelessly for seniors grappling with this condition, recognizing the profound impact it has not only on those diagnosed but also on their caregivers. This month, we join hands to bring attention to this health condition, the selfless caregivers, and the various ways to support and manage this journey.
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes brain cells to degenerate and die, leading to a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral, and social skills. It’s the most common cause of dementia among older adults. The early signs can be subtle – sometimes just misplacing things or forgetting familiar names. However, as the disease progresses, it severely affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.
The Unsung Heroes: Caregivers
Behind every Alzheimer’s patient is a caregiver, often a family member, who makes countless sacrifices. These caregivers face daily challenges, balancing their personal life while providing round-the-clock care. They experience a range of emotions – love, compassion, frustration, and fatigue. Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is also a time to acknowledge their unspoken dedication and resilience.
Slowing the Progression: Medications and Lifestyle Practices
While there’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, certain medications can help slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life. Drugs like donepezil, rivastigmine, and memantine have shown to alleviate some symptoms. Additionally, lifestyle practices play a crucial role. Regular physical exercise, a healthy diet, social engagement, and mental stimulation are all crucial in managing Alzheimer’s. These practices help maintain brain health and may delay the onset of more severe symptoms.
Supporting Family Caregivers
Supporting family caregivers is crucial. They often feel isolated and overwhelmed. Here are some ways we can offer support:
1. Educational Resources and Support Groups: Providing access to information and connecting them with support groups can be immensely helpful. These platforms offer a sense of community and shared experiences.
Caregiver Support In Gainesville:
Alz Place
Located at Alz Place
3rd Thursday, 9 am. Open to all caregivers.
Contact: :Nancy at 352-265-9200
United Church of Gainesville
1624 NW 5 Avenue, Gainesville
3rd Tuesday, 7-8 pm. Open to all caregivers.
Contact: Lynda 352-219-3023.
VA: Caregiver Support Phone Line
Contact: 855-260-3274
M-F 8 am–11pm; Sat. 10:30a – 6:00p;
Crisis Line: 800-273-8255
VA Caregiver Support – VA Center
1601 SW Archer Rd.
Gainesville, FL 32608
Contact Mae Leone – 1-800-824-8387 ext. 5288
Elder Options
Contact: Johnnie Jones III
Savvy Caregiver Course
To schedule: Contact 352-692-5277
Altrusa House
2002 NW 36th Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32605
Regular: 1st Thursday at noon
Frontal Tempural: 2nd Wednesday 7p – 8:30p
Contact Lee Johnson – 377-7708
Senior Health Care Center at Spring Hil
3720 NW 83rd St.
Gainesville, FL 32608
Contact: Fiory 352-336-3050
2:30p-4p 3rd Tuesday of the month.
2. Respite Care Services: Offering temporary relief through professional care services can provide caregivers with much-needed breaks. The resource list above offers some respite care.
3. Legal and Financial Guidance: As advocates for seniors with Alzheimer’s, we at Miller Elder Law Firm emphasize the importance of legal and financial planning. This includes setting up wills, trusts, and healthcare directives to ensure that the patient’s wishes are honored.
4. Public Awareness and Advocacy: Increasing public awareness and advocating for policies that support Alzheimer’s research and caregivers is vital. This can lead to better funding, more resources, and a broader understanding of the disease.
What To Do Now If You Are An Alzheimer’s Caregiver:
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. It’s a time to educate, support, and advocate. At Miller Elder Law Firm, we stand committed to supporting seniors and their families navigating the complexities of Alzheimer’s. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by this condition. Let’s use this month to spread awareness, show compassion, and build a supportive community for those in this silent struggle. And, keep yourself healthy-yoga and meditation!
If we can help you and your family with the health care and legal advocacy along with exploitation prevention, please contact us at 352.379.1900 or complete the form below and we will contact you for a consultation. We are committed to not only helping the one with Alzheimer’s, but also the caregiver.