The Alzheimer’s Association Greater East Ohio Chapter serves individuals, their families, and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in 17 counties in Greater East Ohio. A variety of free programs and resources are available online and throughout the community.
Caregiver support groups provide a consistent, caring place to discuss the challenges of caregiving, share experiences and tips, and establish connections with others dealing with similar circumstances. Facilitated by staff and trained volunteers, the groups also help caregivers develop realistic expectations for themselves and their loved ones, understand the impact of the disease on family dynamics, and alleviate the social isolation caregivers often feel. Members are also encouraged to connect between meetings to support each other further and maintain their physical and mental health.
Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Younger-onset (also known as early-onset) Alzheimer’s affects people younger than 65. Younger-onset is much less common, and its prevalence is uncertain.
Since healthcare providers generally don’t look for Alzheimer’s disease in younger people, getting an accurate diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s can be a long and frustrating process. Symptoms may be incorrectly attributed to stress, or patients may receive conflicting diagnoses depending on the healthcare professionals they visit. People living with early-onset Alzheimer’s may be in any stage of dementia—early, middle, or late. The disease affects each person differently, and symptoms will vary.
Doctors do not understand why most cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s appear at such a young age. But in a few hundred families worldwide, scientists have pinpointed several rare genes that directly cause Alzheimer’s. People who inherit these rare genes tend to develop symptoms in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.
For these individuals and others of any age who have been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and are in the beginning stages of the disease, Early Stage programs offered through the Alzheimer’s Association provide valuable information and support.
Dementia Care Coaching
Trained staff members administer personalized education, resources, and strategies to help caregivers and family members of individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementia provide the best care possible. This free service is available by phone and will provide an action plan for you and your loved one.
For caregivers and those dealing with Alzheimer’s, online resources are available 24/7. These include ALZConnected.org, which provides message boards and an online community, and ALZNavigator, an online interactive tool to guide those living with memory loss or caring for someone who is.
The Jan & Josephine Castora Family Caregiver Relief Program pays for nonmedical in-home care services for dementia or Alzheimer’s caregivers providing daily care for a loved one. The grant program’s goal is to provide ongoing regular breaks for any caregiver who currently does not have paid in-home care services in place. Agency caregivers can provide companion or personal care services such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. The application process involves a screening interview conducted by Alzheimer’s Association clinical staff.
Help is Available
The Greater East Ohio Chapter is available to provide referrals, assist with resources, and direct individuals to clinical trials.
In Ohio, more than 220,000 people are currently living with Alzheimer’s. That number is expected to rise to 250,000 by 2025. Four hundred ninety-three thousand family members and friends provide an estimated 736 million hours of unpaid care valued at more than $13 billion. Nearly 30% of caregivers are 65 or older, two-thirds are women, and one-third are daughters caring for a parent.
The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Your support is needed. Please consider participating in a walk or donating.
For more information or to donate, visit: www.alz.org/eastohio