For the 5,000,000+ Americans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Dementia, memory loss didn't happen all at once. Instead, patients gradually lost their cognitive abilities and capacity to recall words, people, places, and events. But what many do not understand about memory disorders—until confronted with it in their own families—is that memory loss is just the beginning of what these patients, and their caregivers, will experience.
Losing your memory is terrifying and upsetting. When carrying out day-to-day activities such as dressing, preparing meals, and keeping appointments becomes impossible without assistance from others, many patients become anxious and angry. It can be very challenging to care for loved ones who develop these symptoms. In fact, caregivers of those suffering from memory disorders are bearing an unprecedented burden. Primary caregivers of dementia patients lose time from work, suffer from anxiety and insomnia, and have a 50-percent risk of developing clinical depression that requires medical attention.
To address the urgent and growing community need for the relief of such burdens, the UCLA Longevity Center has created Memory Care, an innovative program for patients with mild dementia and their caregivers.
The Memory Care program at the UCLA Longevity Center is for people with memory issues that affect their everyday life, and their loved ones. It teaches memory techniques and strategies to lower stress and stimulate the mind and the body, while providing support for caregivers, too.
The weekly program’s innovative approach engages patients and those involved with their care. All of the UCLA Longevity Center’s evidence-based exercises are led by doctoral-level trainers. Each session consists of three one-hour group meetings:
- (1) memory training – practical techniques for enhancing memory performance;
- (2) mind-body connection – alternative methods like yoga, tai chi, art and music therapy, and mindfulness exercises to lower stress and enhance creativity; and
- (3) social, emotional, and practical support – patients, family members, and caregivers have the opportunity to socialize with others and talk about how they cope with age-related memory issues. The majority of patients and their caregivers remain in the program for over a year or more.
There is currently a waiting list to be accepted into the Memory Care Program. Funding, space, and available personnel limit our capacity to serve all those who would benefit from the Memory Care Program, but if we can raise at least $10,000, we will be able to grow our program and serve even more individuals suffering from memory disorders by expanding to other communities.
Your tax-deductible gift will directly impact hundreds of people in Los Angeles and beyond who are affected by Alzheimer's and dementia today. Here's how:
- Scholarships: Memory Care charges a monthly fee to participate. Scholarships make it possible for our program to be accessible even to those who don't have the financial resources to pay out of pocket.
- Supplies and Materials: This includes costs incurred for general supplies needed for program activities; printing and copying costs including paper, toner, and maintenance; data retention and computer usage; and phone lines and general infrastructure for program administration.
- Community Education: Print, online and social media will be used to help publicize the program as we expand to other communities. This will also include costs of attending relevant health fairs and caregiver support resource fairs.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia afflicts millions of families throughout the country. Patients and their caregivers are overwhelmed by the emotional and financial impact of the disease. The UCLA Longevity Center’s Memory Care provides a much-needed program offering education and support that allows families to overcome the disease’s many challenges so they not only cope better, but live more fulfilling lives. Your support will go a long way to helping patients and their caregivers live together while maintaining their quality of life as they age.