Alzheimer's Alternative

Thomasville offers an alternative to the costly long term care of Alzheimer's disease.

Gail Lancaster of Plantation Manor Assisted Living says one out of every two families nationwide has a family member battling Alzheimer's disease.

Gail Lancaster says, "The older we get the higher the chance we'll have Alzheimer’s. By the time we reach 85, 50 percent of us will have the disease."

Plantation Manor's upcoming Walter Sawyer Daytime Memory Program is an alternative for those who can't afford the costs of long term care for their loved ones or those who aren't ready to put them in long term care.

Participants of the program will take part in one-on-one activities to improve their motor skills. Organizers say that's detrimental to anyone affected with this disease.

Virgil Thomas, activities director for the Memory Program, says, "We're trying to keep them as alive as possible. We do various therapeutic activities, things that will keep them alive cognitively, emotionally, socially."

Betty Sawyer, whose husband died of Alzheimer's disease, adds, "I see it helping many people. There are so many caregivers there that have nobody to help them. They get very stressed and tired. I know that I did and I would have given anything for a program like this when my husband was home."

Organizers say the program will offer caregivers a break, giving them piece of mind while leaving their loved ones in good hands.

The program starts up in August, running Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30. Folks can come any day of the week. There are some fees involved, so call 229-227-0880 for more information. Extended Web Coverage

Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related and irreversible brain disorder that occurs gradually and results in memory loss, behavior and personality changes, and a decline in thinking abilities.

  • These losses are related to the breakdown of the connections between nerve cells in the brain and the eventual death of many of these cells.

  • On average, patients with AD live for 8 to 10 years after they are diagnosed with the disease.

  • AD advances progressively, from mild forgetfulness to a severe loss of mental function.

  • Although the risk of developing AD increases with age, AD and dementia symptoms are not a part of normal aging.

Impact of AD

  • AD is the most common cause of dementia among people age 65 and older.

  • Scientists estimate that up to four million people currently suffer with the disease, and the prevalence (the number of people with the disease at any one time) doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.

  • A recent study estimated that the annual cost of caring for one AD patient is $18,408 for a patient with mild AD, $30,096 for a patient with moderate AD, and $36,132 for a patient with severe AD.

  • The annual national direct and indirect costs of caring for AD patients are estimated to be as much as $100 billion.

Types of AD

  • Two types of Alzheimer’s disease exist: familial AD (FAD), which follows a certain inheritance pattern, and sporadic AD, where no obvious inheritance pattern is seen.

  • AD is further described as early-onset (occurring in people younger than 65) or late-onset (occurring in those 65 and older).

  • Early-onset AD is rare (about 5 to 10 percent of cases) and generally affects people aged 30 to 60. Some forms of early-onset AD are inherited and run in families.

Source: Web Reports