Impact of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Over 35 million people worldwide will eventually forget the names of their children, spouses and friends*. And those forgotten will witness with sadness and frustration as Alzheimer's disease slowly steals away the loved one they once knew. Alzheimer's disease and related dementias affect an alarming number of individuals across the globe, creating one of the most significant social and health crises of the 21st century. Here are the statistics behind the story:

Who Provides Alzheimer's Care?

It's often helpful for carers to know they're not alone. Given the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, many carers find themselves in situations similar to others, trying to balance work and family life while also caring for an aging parent or other relative.

A typical Alzheimer's family carer is a woman between 50 and 64 years of age and works full or part time.

Most Alzheimer's carers (94 %) are helping relatives. The most common carer relationship is between a parent or parent-in-law and child (62 %).

Impact on Carer

The demanding level of care required by someone with Alzheimer's or related dementia, takes its toll on a carer. The prolonged and progressive nature of Alzheimer's, as well as the way memory loss and other dementia symptoms can cause an individual to need constant assistance and supervision, places enormous physical, emotional and psychological strain on the caregiver.

Options

While there is no cure for Alzheimer's, the impacts of this disease on carers and the health system can receive some relief through the use of in home, non-medical care. Using paid care providers, like Home Instead CAREGivers, to supplement the family carers’  hard work and dedication, can lead to improved carer health and may decrease overall health care costs. In fact, research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network has shown that older people who benefit from paid caregiver services have fewer doctors' visits and fewer hospitalizations.

*Alzheimer's Disease International World Alzheimer's Report (2011)