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Spotlighting Early-Onset Alzheimer's: Patients & Caregivers

A photo of two people leaning together, with the older of the two holding an artificial spinning flower.
Erin Smith, Courtesy
Erin Smith and her mother, Pam Smith, at the Shelburne Alzheimer's walk.

Live call in show: Millions of Americans — and about 13,000 Vermonters — suffer from Alzheimer’s. It’s a progressive disease that destroys memory and other mental functions. It changes the lives not just of the people afflicted, but their family members as well. You might have a parent or grandparent with it. Or, perhaps, you’ve been diagnosed yourself.

This hour, we look a specific part of the Alzheimer’s experience — when younger people are diagnosed with what’s often thought of as an older person’s disease. We talk with a Vermonter who has early-onset, also known as younger-onset, Alzheimer’s about her diagnosis and her daughter who takes care of her. We also explore the barriers to receiving financial support for care, and learn how Vermonters with younger-onset Alzheimer’s are trying to connect with one another.

Broadcast live on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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Mikaela Lefrak joined VPR in summer 2021 as co-host and senior producer of 'Vermont Edition'. Prior to that, she was a reporter at host at WAMU, hosting 'What's With Washington' and '51st'.
Lydia is managing producer for Vermont Edition. She joined the station in 2019 after working for 6 years at Connecticut Public Radio as a producer for Where We Live.