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National Caregivers Day: What to do when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia

Posted at 6:36 PM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 19:36:04-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Bruce Willis's announcement of frontotemporal dementia is drawing sharp focus to the disease and the critical role of caregivers on this National Caregivers Day.

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals Director of Neuropsychology, Dr. Travis Groft said frontotemporal dementia, especially the behavioral variant, can cause changes in personality and even embarrassing social behavior at times. As a result, it can be a very isolating experience for the person with dementia and their family members.

There are six million people in the U.S. diagnosed with dementia and 11 million people taking care of them. Many of those people aren't paid.

3 News Now spoke with Jessica Duncan from the Alzheimer's Association about how you can best support the people taking care of others.

"Offering to the caregiver, number one: 'Is there something specific that you need?' If they say 'no', offering something that you're willing to do. And number three, knowing that it might not be an answer now, but to continue to check in on them,” she said.

For all caregivers, the experts from Right at Home suggest some stress relievers

; a change of scenery or just stepping away for a moment can help you re-group.

They recommend taking time to be still and focusing on letting go of muscle tension. And, of course, ask for help. It could be the best thing for your loved one and yourself.

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