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January 17, 2019
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Navigating the aging journey

Julie Ann Soukoulis
The long-reaching impact of dementia
January 18, 2019

Women’s Brain Health Initiative is an organization dedicated to helping women care for their brains to help prevent cognitive decline. Their focus is to offer educational programs and funds raised to research and combat brain-aging diseases that affect women. It might surprise you to learn that women suffer from depression, stroke and dementia twice as often as men and that an astounding 70 percent of all new Alzheimer’s patients will be women. It’s recommended that women are proactive and start caring for their brain at a young age by eating healthy, exercising and reducing stress.

Lakelyn Hogan is the Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate for Home Instead Senior Care. At the National Alzheimer’s Summit, Lakelyn Hogan learned and shared with us about the latest in Alzheimer’s research. “There are roughly 100 Alzheimer’s drugs in the drug ‘pipeline.’  This is a slight increase over the number of drugs in the pipeline in 2017. These drugs are also designed for a wider variety of ‘targets’ than ever before. In other words, these drugs are combating Alzheimer’s in different ways than they traditionally have. My biggest take away from the research conversation was that we can remain hopeful that some of these drugs will successfully make it through the trial phase and move to public use by the year 2025,”  says Lakelyn.

Lakelyn goes on to say, “Among conference attendees were people living with dementia and their caregivers. Their resounding message was loud and clear: ‘We want to be included in the research and we want our voices heard.’ One way to be heard is through an online community called the A-List. The 6,000+ A-List members use their collective voice to overcome scientific skepticism around the value of the patient and caregiver engagement in research. You can join them today!

On the final day of the summit, participants had the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill to talk to lawmakers about the CHANGE Act of 2018. The CHANGE acronym stands for Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer’s Needs to Get to an End. The UsAgainstAlzhiemer’s Activist Toolkit can provide more details on the CHANGE Act.

As long as Alzheimer’s and dementia impact us, there is only knowledge to help shape the journey. Please bookmark and share these resources.”

• HelpForAlzheimersFamilies.com is full of support and educational resources.

• Download the Free Alzheimer’s App called Alzheimer’s daily companion. It is a free download from the App Store or Google Play.

• An online support community receives a weekly email with tips, advice and Q&A from Lakelyn can be found at www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com

• This Facebook page, Remember for Alzheimer’s, has nearly 300,000 members supporting one another and sharing information.

•  This article: 20 Ways to Beef Up Your Alzheimer’s Knowledge includes a wide assortment of helpful tools for caregivers and professionals alike. It can be found at  www.caregiverstress.com

•  To find local dementia and Alzheimer’s care in your area, enter your zip code on this Home Instead Senior Care services page at www.homeinstead.com

• Our local Alzheimer’s Association in Santa Rosa can be reached at 707. 573.1210.

I hope this list of resources, organizations and support communities eases the Alzheimer’s and dementia journey for those living with the disease and their caregivers. If you are looking for some valuable books on the topic, phone my office as we would be happy to offer some options depending on where you are in this journey.

Julie Ann Soukoulis is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park, mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her own two parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, www.homeinstead.com/sonoma to educate and encourage seniors & caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern?  She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.