SOURCE: Alzheimer's Foundation of America

September 18, 2013 15:44 ET

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Unveils New Support for Younger Generation of Caregivers

Skype and Phone-Based Groups Serve College Students and Spouses of People With Young-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - September 18, 2013) - As the number of people with Alzheimer's disease continues to climb, a new and younger generation of caregivers is facing the challenges of managing the memory loss and other cognitive and behavioral symptoms associated with the illness.

To help them with the practical and emotional aspects of their role, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) is offering two new support groups this fall. The first is a Skype-based support group for college students caring for a parent, grandparent or other loved one with Alzheimer's disease or a related illness. The second is a telephone-based support group for spouses of individuals with young-onset Alzheimer's disease; this rare form of the disease, also referred to as early-onset, typically affects people under the age of 65 and as young as in their 30s.

The support groups will provide family members a place to share their feelings, vent frustrations, learn new coping techniques and obtain information. Each group will be facilitated by one of AFA's licensed clinical social workers.

"We are trying to reach all caregivers, especially underserved segments, to provide them with the support they need in a format that works for them," said Carol Steinberg, AFA's president. "There is no one-size fits all solution to Alzheimer's caregiving, but there are common threads that caregivers share. Learning from one another and exchanging experiences can really make a difference."

AFA's eight-week support group for college students will take place via Skype on Tuesdays, from 2-3 p.m. EDT/EST, from October 15 through December 10. Session topics include balancing family, school and work; coping with the challenges of being a long-distance caregiver; family dynamics and changing roles; dealing with feelings; and strategies for self-care.

The group debuts in conjunction with the development of AFA on Campus, an AFA division that seeks to educate and engage college students.

For spouses of individuals with young-onset Alzheimer's disease, the telephone-based support group will run for six weeks, on Mondays beginning November 4, from 3-4 p.m. EDT. This group will explore issues of particular interest to this segment of the caregiving population, such as caring for spouses while raising children and the financial implications of a spouse's unexpected early retirement, while also offering group members emotional support and an opportunity to exchange ideas with their peers.

For both groups, space is limited and registration is required. To register for either group, call AFA at 866-232-8484 or e-mail

It is estimated that, currently, more than five million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and the incidence is expected to triple by mid-century. The brain disorder is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

About Alzheimer's Foundation of America : The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national non-profit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, staffed by licensed clinical social workers; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training, along with teen- and college student-specific divisions. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit, follow us on Twitter (@alzfdn), and "like" us on Facebook (

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