New training program helps local families cope with Alzheimer's

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 2:30pm

TEMPLE -- It's been eight months since Larry Smith lost his father to Alzheimer's.

"Started out being real polite when he drove. He had the green light but he was just waving everybody through, and he got lost a time or two," said Smith. 

And only one month since his mother was diagnosed with Dementia.

"After he passed away she went into a depression and denial," said Smith.

Senior care officials say 5.4 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's and that number is expected to increase to as many as 16 million by 2050.

In the face of these staggering statistics, Home Instead Senior Care has put together a new program to help families cope with the challenges of the disease.

"For managing those behaviors but also an understanding so that you can -- you're better equipped to help your loved one or senior," said Tyson Murphy, franchise owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Temple.

60-70 percent of seniors with Alzheimer's live at home so learning to deal with their behavior is critical.

"For a loved one to be there and not recognize you, when you talk about heartbreaking. There is not a cure for Alzheimer's," said Murphy.

And Smith says you have no choice but to accept it.

"You don't get used to it and you don't like it but you have to understand that there's nothing you can do with it. So you figure some way to work around it and do the best you can," said Smith. 

For more information about the training program visit www.homeinstead.com

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