Alzheimer's Hits 5.1 Million Americans
Cases Predicted to More Than Triple -- to 16 Million -- by 2050
Alzheimer's Caregivers Stressed Physically, Financially continued...
Why? In 2006, a private room in an assisted living facility cost $35,616 a
year. A private room in a nursing home cost $75,190 a year. Adult day services
range from $25 to $100 a day. And home health aids cost $19 an hour.
"Ultimately, we need financial insurance protection so the disease
doesn't bankrupt the whole family," McConnell says. "It is unfair to
make a family choose between sending their child to college and taking care of
Dollars represent only the financial cost of Alzheimer's care. Two-thirds of
these caregivers provide physically demanding care. This includes bathing,
feeding, toilet trips, and incontinence care for patients whose confusion often
leads them to struggle against the caregiver.
More than 70% of caregivers do this for more than a year -- and a third of
them do it for five or more years. It's no wonder 40% of Alzheimer's caregivers
report high levels of emotional stress.
The physical stress of caregiving is summed up in one awful statistic:
People who care for dementia patients have an increased risk of death.
"Caregivers are doing a very important service to the country, but we
need to do a better job of taking care of the caregiver," McConnell