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From Perspectives To Struggles, Alzheimer's Family Caregivers Find Strength In Sharing

KENSINGTON, Md., Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new online video series from the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), formerly the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), paints a picture of the common experiences of America's diverse Alzheimer's disease family caregivers. The video series, which launches today, reveals common struggles and stresses, and provides insights. This practical series is sponsored by Forest Laboratories and will be available through CAN's online resource center at

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please visit:

The video series responds to needs identified in a survey fielded last year of more than 600 Alzheimer's family caregivers.  Results showed that the majority of caregivers are not getting the stress relief they need from their support networks, and many are seeking tips, from information on how to be a more effective caregiver (74%) to ways they can better communicate with family and friends about the patient (65%).

"When Alzheimer's disease strikes, it's not just the patient who is affected. The disease invades the lives and homes of families and friends who must provide care," said John Schall, CEO of CAN.  "This new video series is an important tool for reaching Alzheimer's caregivers in a way that fits their busy lives.  That is why we created a series of short segments that can be watched all at once or individually, to help provide caregivers with inspiration, perspective and advice whenever they can find a few minutes throughout the day."

CAN's online resource center features video vignettes exploring different topics with family caregivers from Philadelphia, Houston and Los Angeles.  Topics include: Discovering Alzheimer's Disease, Life as a Caregiver, Caregiver Tactics and Finding Support

The series also includes insights from a long-term family caregiver of three decades, Suzanne Mintz and Gustavo Alva MD, DFAPA, Medical Director of ATP Clinical Research in Costa Mesa, CA, who treats Alzheimer's patients.  "Every day in my practice, I see the incredible challenges, tough decisions and stresses that Alzheimer's family caregivers must face," said Dr. Alva.  "That's why it's important for them to have a good working relationship with their loved one's doctor.  Caregivers should know that doctors can be a key resource, from educating them on FDA-approved treatments for all stages of the disease to providing information on local support groups and caregiving services."

An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and are being cared for by nearly 15 million unpaid caregivers—including family, friends, partners, and neighbors. Often the equivalent of a full-time job, 80 percent of at-home care for people with Alzheimer's or another dementia is provided by family caregivers.

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