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Being a Caregiver for a Loved One with Alzheimer's

According to the CDC, In 2010 there were over 5,000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the number is expected to rise to over 14 million by 2050. In a 60 Minutes segment called For Better or For Worse that ran on April 22, CBS News chief medical correspondent Jon LaPook, M.D., presented a report which covered ten years of interviews with a couple dealing with being a caregiver while the disease advanced.

In the 60 Minutes segment, we get a close look at the emotional, physical and financial toll faced by families dealing with Alzheimer’s. And we also learn that it’s very important to talk about your specific wishes, should you be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, about what you want to do in the long term. It might not be comfortable to address, but it’s absolutely necessary to discuss these final wishes before the disease becomes too debilitating.

One bright hope in the 60 Minutes episode brings up Music & Memory, a charity that supports using music to stimulate memories and to trigger positive emotions in people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. This organization helps set up personalized music playlists that help tap deep memories that can bring participants back to life, often able to converse, socialize and stay present.

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