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Americans are living longer than ever before.

While this is wonderful in many ways, one of the challenges we now face is that more of us are developing memory impairments.

For some, it arrives before age 65. For most, it comes much later; memory impairment affects close to half of Americans over 85. Alzheimer’s disease, the most well-known condition in the family of memory disorders, is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers of Disease Control. Regardless of its severity or the form it takes, memory impairment is one of the most common reasons for dependency in later life.

“Until there is a cure there is MemoryCare,” says Dr. Margaret Noel, founder of MemoryCare.

MemoryCare is here to provide older adults with cognitive disorders and their caregivers with the medical care, support and counseling they need to live as fully as possible.

Located in Asheville, N.C., MemoryCare is a non-profit charitable organization recognized for its pioneering work in community-based care of memory-impaired individuals. For most patients and families, this is what they want: to stay home as long as possible. It is our job to make that possible. Our approach, which has received national recognition for innovation, focuses on the caregivers as well as the patients. Through programs like MemoryCare’s Caregiver College, caregivers receive the physical and psychological resources they need.

Cognitive disorders are often described as “the long good-bye.”

With MemoryCare, that time together can be punctuated with moments of laughter and joy.