February is Black History Month — an important time to highlight the fact that African-Americans are two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than whites and less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition. African-Americans are also at greater risk than whites for health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which is concerning since overall wellness is a factor in brain health.
Winter can make it harder to leave the house, but people affected by dementia can easily access care and support year-round from the comfort of their own homes. Services such as the Alzheimer’s Association® 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) and online Caregiver Center (alz.org/care) are free and available to people living with dementia, caregivers, family members, friends and the public.
It’s important for everyone to plan for the future, but legal plans are especially important for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The sooner planning begins, the more likely the person with dementia will be able to express his or her wishes for treatment and care, and designate decision-makers. And though these conversations can be difficult to have, being open and honest can help families avoid disagreements and distress later in the disease. Early planning also provides more time to work through the complex legal and financial issues associated with long-term care.
The holidays are a time for celebration and spending time with family and friends. For those who are affected by Alzheimer's or another dementia, the hustle and bustle can also be a time of additional stress. People with the disease may feel a special sense of loss because of changes they have experienced. Caregivers may feel overwhelmed trying to manage family gatherings and traditions while balancing caregiving responsibilities. The following tips provided by the Alzheimer’s Association may help your family have a happy holiday season.