Local Health Alert: Baptist Memory Care Center

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - There's a rapidly increasing number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's, with an estimated five million people in the U.S. age 65 and older, suffering from the disease. As with most diseases, early detection is important for treatment and, in the case of memory loss, a plan for long term care.

The Baptist Memory Care Center in Collierville is offering assistance both through survey and support, to make sure families don't feel alone throughout the planning process. The center provides free screening for memory troubles and connects caregivers to community resources.

Susan Crowson manages the center and says if you're noticing uncharacteristic behaviors in yourself or your loved one, seeking medical attention should be the first step. "Kind of 'Houston, we have a problem'."

She not only runs the center, but she watched her own father succumb to Alzheimer's. Crowson explains, "I could see the disease process occurring right in front of my eyes."

Her parents downplayed his diagnosis, until it was too late to map out care. "They need a plan, for how are they going to care for them when they no longer can."  

Crowson chose to move her dad into her home and hire a nurse to help her with treatment. In the early stages of a diagnosis, she says families should plan for up to 10 years with quality of life. In that time, it's important for the person's support system to decide housing plans for when the patient will no longer be able to live alone and the financial obligations that will follow. "There is a fairly predictable plan of care," explains Crowson.

The Memory Care Center will assess the patient and family members to find out what their needs might be, and then help with planning for the road ahead, putting families in touch with care facilities and working with doctors. "You can make it through this and you can love your loved one and it can be the biggest blessing in your life, as hard as it is," says Crowson.

Currently, through grant funding, the center's services are free. To learn more, click HERE.


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