November Is Alzheimer's Awareness Month
By CarePatrol of Western Michigan-Grand Rapids East
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, with many nonprofits and healthcare agencies spotlighting those who suffer. The Alzheimer’s Association and other charities have increased their fundraising activities, working hard toward finding a cure. For some people however, they are all too aware of Alzheimer’s and the destruction it wreaks, not just in November, but all 12 months of the year.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, as of 2020 Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. There are over 5 million Americans living with the disease, with 1 in 3 seniors dying with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. This population is supported by almost 16 million Americans who go unpaid for the care they’re providing for their loved ones. This in turn takes its toll on these caregivers, and can lead to stress and burnout.
Who are these caregivers? According to the same study, two-thirds of unpaid help is given by women. 30% are age 65 or older. Over 50% are rendering care to a parent or in-law. 25% are in what the Alzheimer’s Association terms the “sandwich generation,” where they are providing care for their parent but also a child. These, coupled with a host of other statistics, show that family members are taking it upon themselves to provide care and helping loved ones manage their lives as the disease takes hold and progresses.
Burnout is a real concern for these caregivers, and becomes evident in various ways: irritation, lack of sleep, anxiety, depression and decreased quality of life. Many family members feel it is their duty to take care of their family member even knowing these things. They feel they can do just as good a job, if not better, than a memory care facility. In many cases, however, memory care facilities and units offer comprehensive care, supervision, and specialized therapies designed for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. They can be warm, inviting communities that can feel like home while providing professional care.
If you are a caregiver and are beginning to see signs of burnout, or the needs of your loved one are becoming too much for you, CarePatrol of Western Michigan is here to help. Our no-cost service helps families find the appropriate independent living, assisted living, memory care, and in-home care agencies, based on their individual circumstances. Our Care Transition Managers have years of professional experience in healthcare and can work to find you the care your loved one needs. Call us at 616.773.2085 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your free care discovery. Visit westernmi.carepatrol.com for more information.
All statistics sited in this article are from the 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Special Report published by the Alzheimer’s Association. The full report can be viewed here: https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/alzheimers-facts-and-figures.pdf