Alzheimer’s care study transformed this wife’s ability to connect with her husband

Health News

MINNESOTA (KFDX/KJTL) — The University of Minnesota is taking part in a huge study on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The disease can take a large toll financially and emotionally on those who have it, and their caregivers.

When Susan Roufs’ husband don entered a memory care facility for dementia, she was grateful his doctor helped her find care and support as well.

Rouf says, “you can’t explain it. People say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I know what you’re going through.’ They don’t. They don’t. You go to these groups and they get you.”

She was part of a group study focused on caregivers, and though it transformed her ability to connect with her husband. She realized how rare it was.

Roufs says, “I don’t know if there is any resources out there that can fill this gap of helping people more.”

University of Minnesota Professor Joseph Gaugler, says, “the goal would be to take a study like this. If it shows to be effective, and then actually get it and implement it on a wide scale.”

Professor Joseph Gaugler says the National Institute on Aging’s new impact collaborative will help all kinds of new dementia studies reach more people.

The University of Minnesota just received an $8,000 grant to develop better ways to deliver healthcare for patients and families.

And they’ll collaborate with more than 30 other research teams across the U.S. receiving more than $53 million combined.

Gaugler says, “it’s trying to improve or enhance, the type of care that’s delivered to someone who has dementia, and that’s important and that’s what families struggle with on a day to day basis.”

Roufs says things like art therapy helped her husband and group therapy is helping her, and she can’t wait to learn more.

Roufs says, “it keeps you moving forward.”

It is estimated that at least 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.

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