Rick Phelps became an advocate for dementia awareness after being diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in June of 2010, at the age of 57. He was forced into early retirement and created Memory People, an online dementia and memory impairment group which supports over 7,000 individuals, all touched in some way by dementia.

Articles

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I have no recollection of yesterdays. I haven't for a long, long time. The problem is, everything everyone does starts with their memory.

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It's the question every dementia caregiver has about their loved one: What can I do? Unfortunately, there's no easy answer.

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Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., and it cannot be prevented, slowed or cured. One man shares his shares his insights on what it is like to live with this mysterious disease.

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Whenever I do something dumb, it's easy to blame it on my Alzheimer's disease.

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Dementia Aware. What does that mean? I read this all the time. Dementia aware restaurants, public places, even dementia aware cities.

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Do people with dementia know something is wrong? I certainly did.

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You hear couples tell one another this all the time. We will grow old together and will always be there for each other. But what happens when one partner gets dementia?

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We tend to worry about the future way too much, especially when dementia enters the picture. But we have to start focusing on the present if we want to learn how to cope.

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We all lose track of time once in a while. But, for a dementia patient, time is their greatest enemy.

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Cognitive decline can cause a number of different emotional and behavioral issues that are especially challenging for caregivers. Sometimes the best option for reducing a patient's anxiety, depression, or combativeness is medication.

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After blanking out during a recent speaking engagement, I realized how few people know about or recognize the signs of dementia. Patient perspectives are crucial to achieving a better understanding of this disease.

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The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 60% of people with dementia will wander away from home. It is vital for caregivers to try to understand this behavior, take preventative measures and have a plan in place in case a loved one wanders off.

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The slow onset of cognitive decline is difficult for family and friends to witness, but it is important to acknowledge that the patient grieves over this loss of memory and loss of self as well.

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Are your affairs in order? Have you ever considered what would happen to your loved one if something happened to you? It is crucial to plan for the worst and hope for the best when you are caring for a loved one.

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Family members often struggle with decisions regarding memory care. There is no downside to placing a senior with dementia in a facility too soon, however there are many consequences of waiting too long.

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Dementia can interfere with a loved one's ability to sleep, and this often affects their caregiver's rest as well. Keep this in mind if you notice your parent or spouse sleeping at odd times during the day, as they may be catching up on their Z's.

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One of the most frustrating aspects of dementia is its unpredictability. You never know when it will manifest, how quickly it will progress or how it may change you or your loved one. My only advice is to embrace the unexpected.

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Caregivers are often at a loss as to what they can do to help improve a dementia patient's quality of life. Fostering a sense of safety, being attentive to pain or discomfort, and helping them stay content are three of the best gifts a caregiver can give.

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Caregivers are constantly concerned about a list of responsibilities and possibilities. However, fear over developing dementia should not be on this list.

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As a dementia patient, I can still handle the chaos of Christmas Day, but I expect there will come a time when I can no longer cope.