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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.