The effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia can be devastating—both for the patient and their family. According to Northwestern University's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, “Dementia influences all aspects of mind and behavior, including memory, judgment, language, concentration, visual perception, temperament, and social interactions.”
Persons suffering from mid to late stage dementia may struggle with the basic activities of daily living such as getting dressed, preparing a meal, or managing their finances. This can lead to increased stress for family caregivers, especially those in the sandwich generation, as they attempt to manage the welfare of their children, work lives, and their parent’s care.
Although the diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s may seem daunting, Chicago seniors may find comfort in one of the many free programs offered by Northwestern’s CNADC. Among the programs offered is The Buddy Program, which invites recently diagnosed dementia patients to mentor first year medical students, as well as The Memory Ensemble an improvisation group for persons suffering from dementia.
CNADC also offers a variety of support groups and lectures for elder care professionals and family caregivers. Participating in the programs offered by CNADC provides persons with dementia the opportunity to stay active, informed, and to contribute to meaningful research that could impact how we understand and treat dementia and Alzheimer’s.