Raising awareness for Alzheimer's in New York City

More than 400,00 people 65 years and older in New York City are living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer's Assocation.

Shniece Archer

Jun 25, 2024, 1:14 AM

Updated 20 days ago

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June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, and in New York City more than 400,00 people 65 years and older are living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer's Assocation.
"She forgets, you know, she forgets sometimes to turn the stove off or something like that. Sometimes she leaves the faucet on," said Marina Mtiulishvili, her mother's caregiver.
Mtiulishvili told News 12 those were some of the signs she saw in her mother before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It's the most common cause of dementia, which can lead to memory loss and the loss of other cognitive abilities.
"I'm afraid, I'm scared, you know, nothing to happen with her, so she needs all the time someone to be with her it's difficult it's not easy," said Mtiulishvili.
Her mother is 84 years old and has been a patient at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn since 2015, receiving care from doctors to slow down the illness. It's a disease professionals say can go unnoticed.
"You can talk about the weather, how do you feel, fine, until you formally test them, then you find the gaps in memory, the gaps in organization, the gaps in falling skills," said Dr. Tanveer Mir, chairperson of medicine, South Brooklyn Health.
Along with the 400,000 people 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's in New York, more than 500,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in the city, according to the Alzheimer's Assocation.
"The caregiver the family has a lot of work to do in order to prevent worsening. They can do things like play board games with them", said Dr. Mir.
Dr. Mir said at South Brooklyn Health there's many resources for Alzheimer's patients, like a primary care clinic network, an outpatient pharmacy and a new program starting next month called Guide. It's a care management program for patients with dementia. But with all the resources available, a village is needed to overcome the illness.
"You always need to observe to check where is she going, what is she doing, it's not easy," said Mtiulishvili.


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