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Dementia & Other Illnesses

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Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia present unique challenges to caregivers. The Alzheimer's Association provides extensive resources for patients and caregivers, including:

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) offers a toll-free hotline, (866) 232-8484, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST), as well as Care Connection, a free weekly teleconference for dementia caregivers.

Through its member organizations, AFA can also connect you to resources including counselors, respite care workers, caregiver support programs and identification programs such as Project Lifesaver, which uses wristband transmitters to track dementia patients who may have wandered.

The National Institute of Health's Alzheimer's Disease Education & Referral Center provides scientific information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It also houses a database of dementia-related clinical trials in progress throughout the United States.

Other Illnesses

The National Institutes of Health's SeniorHealth Web site provides information about a wide range of aging-related health issues in a senior-friendly format. The site covers vision and hearing loss, arthritis, heart and lung disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, among other conditions.

The National Institute On Aging houses an excellent collection of research and publications on elder health, provides links to other relevant government sites, and has a searchable database of hundreds of national organizations with services for older people. The Institute also provides a listing of available clinical trials dealing with diseases that affect the elderly.

For support and in-depth information about specific diseases, visit these and other national nonprofit organizations:

American Cancer Society

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Lung Association

American Stroke Association

Arthritis Foundation

National Kidney Foundation

National Parkinson Foundation

Mental Health

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, founded by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, is a great resource on mental illness among the elderly, with information on issues such as anxiety, depression, dementia and drug and alcohol abuse, all of which affect the senior population. This site also includes a searchable database of geriatric psychiatrists in the U.S.