A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: In both fact and fiction, emotional toll of Alzheimer’s is overwhelming

Ben has that memory thing. He forgets the name, but he knows it’s normal to be able to remember his childhood but not yesterday. Sometimes he cannot call his wife’s name or the name of the daughter who is walking beside him. Words get dammed up inside him. He knows he should not feel bad about these things, but he does. Ben is one of the main characters of “Stars Go Blue,” a novel by Laura...

Sanders-Brown Markesbery Symposium focuses on why some people don’t get Alzheimer’s or dementia

By Laura Dawahare and Allison Perry Special to KyForward Why do some people stay intellectually sharp into their 90s, while others have memory problems? Is there anything we can learn from their lifestyles that can help everyone age successfully? These are among topics scheduled for the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging’s Markesbery Symposium on Nov. 3-4. Keynote speakers...

The Balm in Gilead, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging launch Memory Sunday Weekend

By Ann Blackford Special to KyForward Phyllis Wilson was driving home from Fayette Mall by taking the back roads, just as she had done hundreds of times in the past to avoid the heavy Nicholasville Road traffic. Suddenly, her surroundings did not look familiar and she felt lost as her heart raced. She pulled over to the side of the road and tried to calm herself. After a few minutes, she pulled back...

Tips for caring for yourself while providing care for someone else — don’t ignore your needs

By Robin Hamon Special to KyForward Caring for someone with dementia can be exhausting but many caregivers ignore their own needs in order to care for others — at the expense of their own health and welfare. You might think you have too much on your plate or feel guilty about doing anything for yourself when someone else desperately needs you. But you can be a more effective caregiver when you carve...

UK researchers exploring whether visual arts can have positive effect on dementia patients

By Ann Christianson-Tietyen Special to KyForward Dementia is a “family disease.” The patient, their loved ones and their caregivers are all affected. Dementia refers to a decline of cognitive health that interferes with everyday life. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most recognizable form of dementia, but many other conditions can also affect cognitive health. There is no cure for...

Research will explore effects of visual arts on quality of life for people with dementia; participants sought

The U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Centers has awarded Allan Richards and Ann Christianson of the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies a grant to study the effects of visual arts activities on quality of life for people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers. The grant will allow Christianson and Richards to implement an eight-week program where groups of 12 (six individuals...

Constance Alexander: Caring for elderly parent not for faint of heart, but there is help

A daunting situation is succinctly described in an email from a reader in the Lexington area: “I read your article and it hit home. I’m caring for my parents – Dad has Alzheimer’s and Mom has Lewy body dementia. I’m one of the ‘lucky’ ones. Mom and Dad have some financial resources (but they’re going fast)…The last two years have been harrowing and exhausting and it’s only going...

Constance Alexander: Everyone can help STOP! bullying by taking school safety pledge

“How many of you have always wanted to be a teacher?” The audience does not respond. It is first thing Monday morning, after all, and they are not sure how to react to Karen McCuiston, director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety.   Karen McCuiston Despite the lack of reaction, McCuiston is not cowed.   She steps closer to the first row of seats in the auditorium and repeats her...