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Sunday, January 21, 2018
HomeHealthGeriatricsKerry Mills, Engaging Alzheimer’s

Kerry Mills, Engaging Alzheimer’s

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 7.24.37 AMJune is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month. But for family caregivers and those suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s Awareness happens all day, every day. The statistics are frightening.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Right now, more than 5 million people are living with the disease and one in three older adults will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Family caregivers face an enormous burden. Last year, they provided than 18 billion dollars in unpaid care, sacrificing careers, leisure time, finances, and even cutting back on necessities like food and medical care for themselves and their families. They’re stressed, confused, and often feel helpless to cope. But help is available – in addition to home and community support services and respite care, there’s also dementia coaching.

It’s a relatively new field, that grew out of a need to help people with dementia and their caregivers make the most out of life. Co-producer Liz Seegert recently caught up with dementia coach Kerry Mills, who is a pioneer in developing best care practices for people with dementia.

hashtag #endalz

Written by

Liz Seegert, MA, is the director of the Media Fellows Program at the GW Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. She has spent more than 30 years reporting and writing about health and other topics for print, digital and broadcast media. Her primary beats currently encompass aging, Baby Boomers, health policy and social determinants of health. She edits the aging topic area for the Association of Health Care Journalists website, writing and gathering resources on the many health issues affecting older adults. She also co-produces the GW Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement “HealthCetera” podcast, diving into health issues underreported in traditional media. As a senior fellow, she will continue to report on vital public health issues, seeking out voices who offer unique perspectives on policy, health care and practice issues. As director of the Media Fellows Program at the center, she mentors early-career health journalists to build their understanding of these and other key issues within the health care delivery system.

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