Talk to anyone in your social circle and you're bound to learn that at least one person has a family member with Dementia.

We've all heard the terms Alzheimer's and Dementia, but few know the difference.

According to Dr. Manju Narayani, "Alzheimer's is a specific degenerative brain disease which leads to dementia. Dementia is a group of symptoms that causes mental disability to perform day-to-day activities. Dementia is a result of brain cell damage that causes difficulty in communication, and thinking and affects behavior."

In other words, Alzheimer's is a form of Dementia.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, roughly 190,000 people in New Jersey are living with Alzheimer's.  That number is expected to grow as our population ages.

Alzheimer's is a scary disease.  In the beginning, the patient will experience memory loss, often having trouble remembering names.  They may have conversations that they forget and repeat themselves a short time later.

Eventually, everyday functions become more difficult.  Things like brushing their teeth or other daily routines are forgotten.  It becomes important for the patient to be monitored closely.  It's common for Alzheimer's patients to become disoriented and confused.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's.

Alheimer's is taxing on family members, who are depended on for caregiving.  In many, if not most cases, professional care is too expensive for families.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are 272,000 family caregivers in New Jersey that provide 493 million hours of unpaid care.

Professionals urge family caregivers to join support groups.  The mental and physical effects on caregivers are brutal.  Here in New Jersey, there are many support groups for family caregivers.

If you are a family caregiver, this is a list of support groups in New Jersey. 

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