Please contact me with questions and share with people who may benefit:
NEW ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION SPONSORED SUPPORT GROUP:
Topsfield Younger Onset Caregivers Group
Meets 2nd Thursday of the Month, 6:30-8pm
at Rest.Stop.Ranch Caretaker’s Cottage
(the home of Mary E MacDonald and Karl R Ackerman)
202 Haverhill Road, Topsfield, MA 01983
Free-of-charge and Open to the Public by RSVP ONLY
RSVP is Required. Group size is limited to 10 people and 10 cars.
Call or Email Mary E MacDonald:
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: 978-887-4202
First meeting will be held January 12, 2017
Referrals will be made from the Alzheimer’s Association website and 24/7 Helpline (1-800-272-3900), local family doctors, nurses & social workers, geriatric and geri-psychiatry physicians, spiritual-care & holistic-care professionals, faith-based organizations, other caregiver support group facilitators, and by word-of-mouth.
“Younger Onset Caregiver” refers to caregivers journeying with a loved one with a dementia and assumes:
1. The caregiver is younger than 65 years old
2. AND The person living with dementia’s symptoms (i.e. memory loss) began before they turned 65 years old.
Types of Dementia affecting People Under Age 65
• FTD – Fronto-Temporal-Degeneration
• Lewy-Body Type
• other types…
People at higher-risk for Younger-Onset Dementia include:
• People with Down Syndrome
• People with Traumatic Brain Injury
Keep in Mind:
Age is the greatest risk-factor for dementia.
For every 100 people with dementia, generally, 80 people have an Alzheimer’s Type of dementia, the other 20 people have another type… FTD, Lewy-Body, Younger-Onset, etc…
Prevention includes: eating a Mediterranean diet, 30-minutes exercise daily, loving relationships, meaningful engagement with life, and building new pathways in the brain through new experiences.
After speaking with other group facilitators in our region (North Shore, Merrimack Valley and Southern NH, USA), I’ve heard that there is a need for a “Younger Onset Caregiver” group, as most support groups (currently all in our region) are serving the great majority of people impacted by Alzheimer’s/Dementia, people over age 65.
Caregiving for a spouse, parent or child with dementia, when you are in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, also likely working full-time and raising a family, is “a whole different ball of wax,” a caregiver in her early 50’s mentioned to me recently (compared with being a retired person who is caring for another retired person).
This group will specialize in serving caregivers dealing with some of the most difficult dementia-care situations (reported in the research literature, and by those who have survived), including:
– FTD (Fronto-temporal Degeneration) – Considered by experts to be “the worst” type of dementia (as far as effects on family members) – This was our experience, with my mom, Margaret, d. 2008, age 67; I was then a 36 year old caregiver.
Thanks for spreading the word.
Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,