New online guide helps assess dementia

Lisa Wurth

September 1, 2010

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are approximately 11 million Americans across the country who are providing unpaid care for patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Those receiving care are typically the parents or grandparents.

Many seniors citizens suffer from some form of dementia and the Center for Disease Control claims that almost half of all adults who are 85 and over have Alzheimer’s.

A Geriatric Assessment can be a useful tool for families who wish to understand the health and treatment options available to loved ones who may be exhibiting signs of dementia. These evaluations are usually done by a medical professional and can cost hundreds of dollars.

Donahue Vanderhider, a Los Angeles-based gerontologist, recently made a free assessment available on, so that families can diagnosis the patient themselves, without the expensive suggestions of professional geriatric assessments.

“I can see in my client’s eyes that they desperately need the guidance I have for them, but they just can’t swing the expense,” Vanderhider wrote on his blog.

Another way to significantly reduce the costs of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is to install a medical alert system in the residence. This device will allow seniors to contact caretakers or doctors in the case of an emergency, keeping them safe when they are unattended. Other ways for elders to save include senior citizen discounts – click for our guide to several.

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