November marks Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month; support groups meet in Lynnwood

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. The Alzheimer’s Association is marking these events by recognizing and honoring the more than 295,000 caregivers in Washington state who provide unpaid care to a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating, relentless and debilitating condition that robs people of their memories, independence, control, time and, ultimately, their life. It affects over 6.2 million Americans, including 120,000 people in Washington — a state that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, has the third-highest Alzheimer’s death rate in the country.

Caring for someone with the disease is exceptionally demanding and can be all-encompassing. Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers:

  • Manage multiple conditions. Alzheimer’s and dementia are more than memory loss. Caregivers are also faced with emotional and mental health issues, behavioral and personality changes, and physical changes, including the gradual loss of mobility.

  • Take on more intensive caregiving tasks. Among all older adults with dementia, 77% receive assistance with at least one activity of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, in contrast to only 20% of older adults without dementia.

  • Provide care over a longer period of time. The average life expectancy following a dementia diagnosis is 4-8 years, but can be as long as 20 years. As the disease progresses, caregiving tasks become more intensive.

  • Experience the emotional and physical toll of caregiving. When compared to other types of caregivers, dementia caregivers report greater levels of emotional stress and higher rates of declining health. A recent national poll found 27 % of caregivers for people with dementia delayed or did not do things they should for their own health.

The Alzheimer’s Association said it assists family caregivers in a variety of ways, ensuring they are never alone on their journey:

  • Care consultation: Caregivers and people living with memory loss can call the 24/7 Helpline (1-800-272-3900) any time day or night for support, information and referrals to local resources.

  • Support groups: Emotional support and education for caregivers in a compassionate and confidential group setting. A Dementia Caregiver Support Group meets in Lynnwood on the first Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m.-noon. Contact Alice Allen-Redfern at 206-529-3876 for more information.

  • Education: The local Alzheimer’s Association offers over a dozen educational webinars each month, as well as a Wellness Wednesday series in partnership with the University of Washington Memory and Brain Wellness Center. Learn more at

  • Journey Dementia Family Caregiver Conference: This free, all-day event offers education, information and resources — as well as inspiration and encouragement for dementia family caregivers. The next Journey Conference will be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center on March 5, 2022. Learn more at

For more information on local resources, visit or call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

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