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New Support Group for Dementia Caregivers

The Association for FrontoTemporal Degeneration (AFTD) is excited to announce the formation of a Columbia, SC chapter of their support group for caregivers of individuals with dementia. FrontoTemporal Dementia (FTD) is the most common form of early-onset dementia in the United States, and is a serious and devastating disease for both affected individuals and their families, loved ones, and caregivers. This new support group is free of cost, and welcomes all individuals who have a family member or friend who suffers from FTD.

The group will meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. beginning on December 20, 2016. Meetings will be held at Greenlawn Baptist Church, located at 6612 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC, across from the USC School of Medicine and the VA Hospital. Parking is available in the church parking lot.

The focus of the group, in line with the AFTD’s mission, is to offer support to caregivers of individuals with all FTD-related dementias. Mary Revels, an AFTD Affiliated Support Group Leader, will lead group meetings. Mrs. Revels’ formal training through the AFTD ensures the group members will receive the most accurate and current information. The group format also allows for caregivers to share their experiences and support with one another. Please call 803-603-2056 to reserve a space at the meeting.

More About FTD
FrontoTemporal Dementia, commonly called FTD, is the most prevalent form of early-onset dementia in the United States. FTD primarily affects individuals under 60; roughly 60% of cases occur in people 45-64 years old. The hallmark symptoms of FTD include gradual, progressive declines in behavior and/or language, while memory typically remains relatively well preserved. FTD is different from Alzheimer’s Disease, most notably in the earlier typical age of onset and absence of significant memory problems. The disease’s early onset sometimes leads medical providers to determine that FTD patients are “too young” for a dementia diagnosis, which may result in FTD being initially misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem or movement disorder, such as Parkinson’s disease. As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for affected individuals to plan or organize activities, behave appropriately in social or work settings, interact with others, and care for themselves, resulting in increasing dependency on caregivers. The earlier age of onset compared to other dementias often means that FTD affects work and family in ways that dementia in older patients does not.

More About the AFTD
The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) is the leading nonprofit working to improve the quality of life of people affected by FTD in the United States. AFTD is committed to supporting research to find a cure for FTD and to providing education, resources, and support to those affected by the disease. To learn more about AFTD, please visit www.theaftd.org, www.facebook.com/TheAFTD, or call the AFTD hotline at: 1-866-507-7222.

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