Alzheimer’s disease touches a huge percentage of our population when you add up the number of people with the disease, their family members and their caregivers. Many people with Alzheimer’s have behavioral issues that aren’t always easy to handle. Although being someone’s caregiver can be a rewarding experience, it can also lead to depression and health issues. Seventy-five percent of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias reported that they were “somewhat” to “very concerned” about maintaining their own health since becoming a caregiver1. If there is an Alzheimer’s caregiver in your life, reach out and offer to help.
There are over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s in the United States today. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that number will rise to 16 million by 2050. Eighty percent of care provided in the community is provided by unpaid caregivers (most often family members), while fewer than 10 percent of older adults receive all of their care from paid caregivers1.
Spreading awareness and understanding the role of an Alzheimer’s caregiver is a good first step. If you are able, offer to help a caregiver out. It is very unlikely they have much time to take care of themselves when they are a full time caregiver to someone else. If you are an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you can share this infographic and even add your own helpful suggestions. Friends and family usually want to help, they just don’t always know how.
1 Alzheimer’s Association, 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, www.alz.org