November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Caregiver Support Month
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and chronic medical condition that affects more than five million people in the united states every year. Even in its early stages, it affects memory, mood, judgement and decision making, and as it progresses, the ability to function lowers significantly, eventually preventing the person from living safely on their own. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for this condition. More than five million people across the country suffer from Alzheimer’s disorder every year, and more than one in three seniors are projected to get Alzheimer’s or some other form of progressive dementia within their lifetimes.
Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and other debilitating illnesses, particularly those that come late in life, largely rely on in home caretakers for their care and well-being. Often, this means family. More than 43 million people in the United States provide unpaid caregiving support for elderly adults and children suffering from conditions that need physical help with day-to-day functioning. This can include helping them get out of bed, assisting with toileting and cleaning, managing medication and food intake, taking them to doctors’ appointments, scheduling activities, and more.
Listed below is a collection of national and local resources focusing on Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as support networks and resources for caretakers.
- This helpful page lays out the differences between different forms of assisted living, from home care to nursing homes and respite.
- The Vision Center offers this helpful guide in managing dementia in the context of vision loss and eye care
- This article from the AARP discusses helpful tips on managing an individual's finances as a caretaker.
- The Alzheimer’s Association, the largest national organization providing information and support for Alzheimer’s patients and their families, offers a searchable database of support groups for caregivers of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's.
- The Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center shares up-to-date news on Alzheimer’s treatments and research, as well as its own resource page for patients and caregivers.
- The Massachusetts and New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association shares this page on New England virtual resources and support groups.
- PACE, or Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a state service available to help seniors, providing medical, social, recreational, and wellness services. Click the link to find out more about eligibility.
- The City of Boston’s Age Strong Commission serves the Greater Boston community, offering on its website a page of resources and a phone line at a 617-635-4366.
- The Family Caregiver’s Alliance is a large family caregiver network that helps with support and resources. Here is an aggregate they have provided of Massachusetts support networks by primary disability, as well as the Caregiver Connect resource page.
- The Boston Family Caregiver Support Program is a local network that assists with direct support and education for eligible families.
- 617-660-5399: Nursing Home Family Resource Line, an informational and referral line available 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., seven days a week