SPECIAL SERIES: Under 60 and Living With Dementia
When a 48 year-old loving mother and wife began to act strangely, turning hostile, her husband blamed hormonal changes or depression. But for this family, the cause was much more sinister.
Next Avenue is developing a series of blogs based on one family’s experience with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the most common form of brain wasting that strikes people under age 60.
The author, Dan Browning, spent years as an investigative reporter and now covers health care and medical research for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. His wife, Liz Cummings Browning, is an accomplished musician and was diagnosed with the disease at age 50. Prior to her diagnosis, her family struggled, not understanding why she seemed suddenly hostile to them.
This highly personal series taps into the universal experience of discovering, then dealing with, a dementia diagnosis in the family.
PREVIEW OF THE SERIES:
WATCH: Liz's Story Featured on TPT's ALMANAC
SYMPTOM CHECKLIST: Symptoms of brain related disorders are often misunderstood, and that’s especially true in Frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Early on, family members and friends sense a change but can’t pinpoint the cause. If your relative or friend is acting in a way that doesn’t seem normal to you, maybe it’s due to FTD. If they are exhibiting the symptoms in this checklist, help them find a local expert to test for FTD.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS
Are you or a loved one dealing with a frontotemporal dementia (FTD) diagnosis?
Find out more information by visiting these websites:
- NIH - Frontotemporal Disorders: Information for Patients, Families and Caregivers
- LeadingAge: Caring for People with Dementia
- UCSF Memory & Aging Center - FTD Overview and Tips for Caregivers
- Caregiver.org: Understanding Frontotemporal Dementia
- National Institute on Aging (NIA)
- University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Memory & Aging Center
- Family Caregiver Alliance
- Alzheimer's Association
- The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD)
- Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration Association (FTLDA)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Planning for Hope is a documentary featuring the stories of patients in different stages of battling Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a commonly misdiagnosed disease that is second in prevalence to Alzheimer's.
As seniors age, there is always a concern for the onset of dementia, in any form. But the symptoms of FTD can begin earlier in life. KCET explores the subject as part of it's Your Turn to Care series.
Denise Thomas talks about life with her husband of 35 years, Randy, who suffers from Frontotemporal dementia. Video produced by The Kansas City Star.
Dementia is a problem of the elderly, right? Generally that's true. But the Mayo Clinic explains how FTD devastates lives by rapidly turning young, vital people into those who need constant care.
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