The baby boomer generation is beginning to confront Alzheimer’s disease, and for some people that may mean losing a spouse to a disease that robs them of their memory and ultimately their identity.
What happens when your partner is no longer the person you knew — but someone you may care for at home, or who may be institutionalized — can you begin to date other people? Should you look for another companion even though your spouse is still alive?
Living with dementia can be isolating for both patients and their families. As social interactions get awkward, people begin to withdraw. Not only do their memories fade, but people themselves begin to fade from view.
When people have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, they are at risk for wandering. What that really means is they get lost. For an elderly person, that can sometimes lead to death. In Washington in the last five years, at least 10 people with some form of dementia have died after getting lost.
One of the hardest things for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is loss -- loss of memory, loss of a loved one's ability to recognize family, and sometimes, loss of the ability to communicate. The changes can be devastating. But one Seattle woman found a way to be part of her mother’s new world.
It’s estimated that there are more than five million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to grow as the population ages. One of the major problems associated with the disease is isolation, both for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. A Seattle program provides them a place to socialize and find support.