Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.

Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.

Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.

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Kelly started her journey into senior living as an Activities Director. She worked her way up to Business Office Manager, and eventually in Administration. During her career, she has served as a Compliance Manger, Employee Trainer, and Marketing Director, and has opened three memory care communities. You may even see her carrying a paintbrush around Memory Lane Cottage, as she truly immerses herself in all parts of community management. However, the one position that has remained constant, is acting as a bridge between the resident and the family. Kelly states: “So many people are scared about talking about their loved one’s disease. Family members can be embarrassed to talk about the behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s and the family dynamics unique to their situation. They can be reluctant to ask for help, feeling guilty they can no longer provide the care their loved one needs. Over the years, both of my grandmothers lived in communities I managed, and I feel that gives me a unique perspective of ‘sitting on both sides of the desk’. Each resident has a very unique set of challenges associated with their disease progression. I think the wonderful part of Memory Lane Cottage is that with a smaller population, we can truly create a very unique care plan for each individual, which is nearly impossible to do in a larger setting.” Nowadays, you can catch Kelly with one of her therapy dogs or even her parrot, spreading awareness of Alzheimer’s and related disorders. Her favorite quote is: “Alzheimer's Sucks, but Memory Care Doesn’t Have To”
Taylor started volunteering in activities at a Memory Care Community back in 1997. When she graduated in 1999, with a degree in Aging Studies, she was offered a job in Marketing and then opened one of the first Memory Care Communities in the Tampa Bay area. Taylor went on to work a successful career as a Regional Marketing Manager. Her favorite part of her work was training and supporting marketing teams and the connections she made with the FAMILY Caregivers – holding their hands and helping them make some of the biggest decisions they would make as a Caregiver. Taylor has worked on many projects over the years- such as FACES of Alzheimer’s, Co-Chairing The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and has held many fundraisers to support Alzheimer’s research. She loves to present on Aging Related Issues so that we can all help Caregiver’s better understand the Aging process. Taylor is dedicated to working with individual Caregivers to find out what is going on in their “Caregiver Journey,” and help connect them, so they know they are not alone. Her favorite quote is “Enjoy the Journey.”
I am originally from upstate NY and have spent my entire career in the Executive Director role. My major responsibilities are first and foremost the health and well-being of the residents. I always encourage open, professional communication among family members and staff members. It is my sole responsibility to respond to the needs of the residents, families, and visitors by providing immediate assistance. My number one motto in life is: "LIFE isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's learning to DANCE IN THE RAIN!!! ENJOY LIFE