Alzheimer’s Epidemic Equals Caregiver Stress

by Lois Etienne on September 16, 2011

in Alzheimer's and Dementia,Caregiver Support,Senior Health and Safety

According to the 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures released March 15 by the Alzheimer’s Association, there are nearly 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in the United States — 37 percent more than reported last year. In 2010, these individuals provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $202.6 billion.

The rising prevalence of Alzheimer’s places increasingly intense demands — emotional, physical and financial —on the millions of family members and friends who care for those with Alzheimer’s. “Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just affect those with it. It invades families and the lives of everyone around them,” said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association.

As the Alzheimer’s epidemic continues to escalate, more and more Americans will experience the strain of this disease. Today, an estimated 5.4 million individuals are living with Alzheimer’s. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. 

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease 

·         Memory changes that disrupt daily life

·         Challenges in planning or solving problems

·         Difficulty completing familiar tasks 

·         Confusion with time or place

·         Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

·         New problems with words in speaking or writing

·         Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

·         Decreased or poor judgment

·         Withdrawal from work or social activities

·         Changes in mood and personality

For more information about the signs, early detection and diagnosis or the Facts and Figures report, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org or 1.800.272.3900.

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