What happens when you become a parent to your parents?

photo of aged hands

That’s what longtime NPR journalist Kitty Eisele had to figure out when she became a full-time caregiver for her dad. After moving back to her childhood home, Kitty found herself bewildered by the medical, legal and emotional challenges of elder care. And that’s to say nothing of the time her dad headed out on a 300-mile road trip without telling her.

Kitty’s journey with her dad is the topic of a new NPR podcast, “Demented.” The podcast, available Oct. 14, is supported by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and its Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Kitty will share how she managed doctors’ appointments and hospital stays, found outpatient and assisted living options, and tried to keep her beloved dad safe and secure — all while figuring out how to pay for everything in a complex and confusing system that doesn’t yet offer much support.

The many tasks and decisions can be overwhelming and stressful for the nearly 42 million Americans who provide unpaid care for an adult age 50 or older each year. Twenty-six percent of caregivers for adults are providing care for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. And with the average age of a caregiver at 50, many have their attention divided between raising a family, working and providing care for their loved one.

The Biggs Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also called UT Health San Antonio, is committed to searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The institute also provides comprehensive dementia care, supportive and educational resources, and access to clinical trials that are providing hope for a healthier future for aging. For more information on how the Biggs Institute can help both those with dementia and their caregiver, visit UTHealthDementia.org.

To hear the podcast, subscribe to “Demented” on Apple, Spotify or wherever your listen to podcasts. All five episodes will be available on Oct. 14.

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