It often starts out modestly, almost imperceptibly – a few glitches in recall, trouble remembering a name, maybe – and then can progress to a truly debilitating disease. Sometimes one that requires intense, round-the-clock care that stretches family members and loved ones thin.
As the demand for Alzheimer’s and other memory care services continues to grow (an estimated 25,000 people in the Finger Lakes region suffer from the disease – the most common form of dementia – and that number will likely triple by 2050, as the population ages), URMC recently announced a novel program that pulls together support from all angles. Known as the Memory Care Program, a cross-specialty team of neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians, neuropsychologists, social workers, nurses, and marriage and family therapists staff the clinic.
“Truly effective treatment requires a coordinated approach, gathering a team of clinicians that can help address the many facets of these diseases,” says URMC neurologist Dr. Fred Marshall, who directs the new program.
And it’s precisely because of this deep and diverse team that the same clinic, all under one roof, can deliver a comprehensive evaluation of each new patient, provide guidance on medications and coping strategies, educate patients and families about a broad variety of resources and support available in the community, and more. To appreciate the full breadth of the new program’s services, tune into the video below.
The new Memory Care Program – made possible by a $1 million anonymous gift to the Medical Center (as part of the University of Rochester’s $650 million “Meliora Challenge”) – anticipates following up to 3,000 patients, and plans to recruit new faculty and expand capacity as demand grows.
Know someone with Alzheimer’s? You can find even more information about URMC’s program at www.memorycare.urmc.edu, or by calling 585-273-5454.