Alzheimer's Disease

Courtesy Merri via Flickr/Creative Commons. (https://flic.kr/p/dcLU38)

Brenda Bouchard’s mother already had Alzheimer’s when her husband was also diagnosed with the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association has provided Brenda with a constant source of support and guidance.

mollybob via Flickr Creative Commons

People living with dementia can appear to live in their own world, a complicated, non-linear inner world not so easily communicated to, or understood by others. The London-based writer Susanna Howard is attempting to give people with dementia a voice by visiting with them and recording their words as poetry. 

Susanna is artistic director of Living Words, an arts and literature program helping people with dementia feel understood and heard even when communication seems lost. 

Check out the Living Words website here.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Nursing homes around the country are under pressure from the Federal government to reduce their use of antipsychotics. 

An Alzheimer’s Update

Jan 15, 2013

Research now shows that Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed years before signs of dementia.  Science has not, however, produced any new treatments and evidence of prevention is still being studied.  We’ll look at recent developments and at concern over stress on families and the impact of this disease on the healthcare system.

Guests

The Alzheimer's Café: Unforgettable Therapy

Jan 9, 2013

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can strip away memory, sometimes even dignity, and can isolate even the most outgoing individual. There’s no cure for the brain disorder, but now, patients and those who care for them are finding relief at something called the Alzheimer’s Café.


The Alzheimer's Café: Unforgettable Therapy

Jan 3, 2013
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Once a month, it’s a decidedly older demographic meeting here at the Children’s Museum in Dover.

A dozen or so seniors gather inside a brightly painted conference room. There’s coffee, cake and, this month, some live entertainment from 'The Sea Reeds,' a quartet of local clarinetists.

For Rhea Pereira, the music is a chance to sing along with friends. She and her husband John moved here from Florida three years ago, when Rhea began experiencing memory problems. 

Ask family members of someone with Alzheimer's or another dementia: Trying to talk with a loved one who doesn't even remember exactly who they are can be very frustrating.

But here at a senior center in Seattle, things are different.

On one recent day, 15 elderly people were forming a circle. The room is typical — linoleum floors, cellophane flowers on the windows, canes and wheelchairs, and walkers lined up against the wall.

Obama’s war on Alzheimer’s, last year, the president signed the national Alzheimer’s project act – which set in motion a plan to combat the degenerative disease that currently affects more than 5 million Americans, and costs more than two-hundred billion dollars in health-care costs.  Going forward, the financial stakes are even higher: the Alzheimer’s association projects the disease will cost the US over one-trillion dollars by the year 2050.   Now, a final draft of the Alzheimer’s initiative aims to curb those costs with ambitious benchmarks, which is making waves in the medical communit