As the world population ages, diseases such as Alzheimer's become more prevalent. And with a surplus of people who need care, there is often a shortage of those who are able and willing to give care.
Representing Home Instead at the 29th Alzheimer's Disease International Conference last week (May 1-4), the company's US chairman and co-founder, Paul Hogan, joined other speakers from around the globe in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to discuss solutions on providing care for individuals with Alzheimer's.
The theme for the conference was Working Together for a Global Solution and Hogan delivered a speech addressing ways to support family carers.
For Hogan, the solution must include the carer. "It is important to focus on the disease, but it is also equally important to focus on the carer," said Hogan who also serves as vice chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing. "Until there is a cure, we must care for the carer."
According to the World Alzheimer Report, the number of dependent seniors in the world will rise from 101 million in 2010 to 277 million in 2050. And of those seniors, more than 35 million have Alzheimer's disease.
Carer support becomes increasingly more important as the number of people transitioning into the carer roles rises. In fact, 44 percent of people over the age of 50 who live in established countries currently serve as carers.
Hogan called for early support for carers, "Today, I implore all of you to let these carers know help is available. Work to connect carers with resources early and often - not late and at the point of desperation."
Hogan adds that organisations can increase carer support in a variety of ways.
"At Home Instead, one of our goals is to work to connect carers with resources early and often," said Hogan. "If the entire Alzheimer's community would increase and enhance their community resources, it would make it easier for carers to access the available resources so they can get the help they desperately need."
Other ways organisations can help support the Alzheimer's carer community include holding education workshops, hosting support groups and offering respite care as a care solution.
Carers can turn to Home Instead for many carer tools and resources. For a full copy of Hogan's speech click here or access to Home Instead's free Alzheimer's family carer resources, training opportunities and advice, visit https://www.homeinstead.co.uk/Dementia_CARE_Resources.do