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Local Caregivers Learn "Best Friends" Approach to Alzheimer's Care

People who handle the daily task of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia are attending a conference hosted by the Alzheimer's Association of Rochester & the Finger Lakes Region on Monday.

They’re learning about some coping strategies to deal with what can be a long and difficult journey.

Across New York an estimated million or more family members and friends are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia.

Almost 60 percent of the caretakers describe their role as highly or very highly emotionally stressful and 40 percent suffer from depression.

Alzheimer's and memory care expert David Troxel spoke at the conference about a strategy that can help.

It's called the "Best Friends" approach to Alzheimer's care. Troxel and a colleague came up with this method of relating between caretakers and loved ones with dementia.

It's based on mutual trust and respect and allows the patient to preserve their dignity.

Click on the audio link above to hear David Troxel describe this method.

Troxel is the co-author of A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.