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Alzheimer's Association Shares 5 Reasons Alzheimer's Caregiving is Challenging

Post Date:11/07/2023 8:50 AM

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By Eric Thompson, Director of Communications, Alzheimer’s Association

 

5 Reasons Alzheimer’s Caregiving is Challenging

November is National Family Caregivers Month. There are more than 11 million family caregivers in the U.S and nearly half of them provide help to someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Caregivers for Alzheimer's and dementia patients face unique challenges.

Here are five reasons Alzheimer’s caregiving is challenging:

 

1.  Caregiving for someone with memory loss is exceptionally demanding

  •  Alzheimer’s caregivers are often managing multiple conditions, not only memory loss, but also:
    • Long-term physical problems, including gradual loss of mobility
    • Emotional issues
    • Behavioral and personality changes

 

2. Caregiving tasks are often more intense and burdensome

  • Caregivers of people with dementia report providing 27 hours more care per month on average (92 hours versus 65 hours) than caregivers of people without dementia.
  • Among all older adults with dementia, 77% receive assistance with at least one activity of daily living (ADL), such as bathing and dressing, in contrast to only 20% of older adults without dementia.

 

3. Alzheimer’s caregivers often have to provide care over a longer period of time

  • Average life expectancy following a diagnosis is four to eight years but can be as long as 20.
  • During the course of the disease, caregiving tasks escalate and become more intense.

 

4.  Alzheimer’s caregivers report greater stress and personal health problems

  • 59% of Alzheimer's caregivers report their emotional stress as high or very high. (Non-Alzheimer’s caregivers – 41%)
  • 35% report declining health because of caregiving (Non-Alzheimer’s caregivers – 19%)
  • A recent national poll found 27% of caregivers for people with dementia delayed or did not do things they should for their own health.

 

5.  Impact on Employment

  • 57% reported sometimes needing to go in late or leave early due to care responsibilities.
  • 18% reduced their work hours.
  • 9% gave up working entirely.

 

“For many caregivers, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is overwhelming,” said Janet Hamada Kelley, Alzheimer’s Association San Diego & Imperial Chapter Executive Director.  “However, there is support, and resources are available, including local support groups, education programs, and our 24/7 Helpline. No one should face this disease alone and the Alzheimer’s Association is here to help.”

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and find local support services and resources, visit alz.org/sandiego.

 

For a source reference for the statistics included in this story, please view the 2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report.

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