Alzheimer’s – The Impact of Care Giving

Alzheimer’s is a common form of dementia that affects the cognitive skills of aging adults. It is slow and insidious as it robs a person’s language, memory, and reasoning skills. Managing the care of a love one with this disease requires significant resources and outside help.

Some things to consider when faced with the care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Special nutritional and exercise needs
  • How long the person can remain in their own home
  • What types of enhanced home safety equipment is required
  • Respite for the main care provider

In her book, Mothering Mother, Carol O’Dell addresses many of the concerns she faced both as her mother’s primary care giver in their home and as the mother and wife of her own family. She sometimes had to miss the activities of her children because her mother could not or would not attend and yet could not be left home alone safely. Her career was put on hold and her relationship was strained at times with other family members.

With nearly 15 million Americans caring for an elderly family member and the proportion of babyboomers rapidly reaching their own golden years, who will care for the carers? There must be increased public awareness of the issues faced by our aging population and their family caregivers.

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