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Recent data from the Alzheimer’s Association shows that almost eleven million people in America are caregivers for family members who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. They estimate that this group of volunteers donates almost eighteen billion hours of health care every year. This amounts to nearly $220 billion in labor that goes unpaid and does not include the lost wages that caregivers are missing out on by spending so much of their time providing care. These metrics are expected to increase in the coming decades as the baby boomer generation reaches the age where Alzheimer’s disease becomes more prevalent.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The toll that this disease takes is not solely limited to those who are directly afflicted by it. Alzheimer’s disease taxes loved ones as well – especially those who are also caregivers. Family and friends are subjected to watching the person they love suffer, sometimes losing themselves entirely. The experience of giving care to someone with Alzheimer’s disease does not need be a bleak and isolating one. In fact, there are helpful resources available that caregivers should utilize to their advantage. Below are five resources that every Alzheimer’s caregiver should be aware of.
AgingCare is an organization that wants to be “your partner in caregiving.”
From people who provide care for those suffering from diabetes to those who are struggling with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, They are a resource for caregivers of all types. They offer a rich supply of experience to answer caregiving questions of all types.
The United Kingdom’s Alzheimer’s Society is the primary resource for those providing care to a patient in the UK. They have highly active forums that are open to anyone who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in any way.
ALZConnected is an online community powered by the Alzheimer’s Association. They provide active, friendly forums devoted to the experiences of caregivers as well as those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease itself.
Founded by a woman who lost her husband to Alzheimer’s disease, this site describes itself as a place of comfort specifically for the spouses of those who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s and related diseases.
The Alzheimer’s Spouse focuses on specific issues spouses are confronted with when their partner is the one suffering. It is a very helpful website for all of those people dealing with the particular struggles of providing care for a spouse.
HealthUnlocked is a social network devoted to people with health concerns. They offer the ability to connect with people who can provide answers to healthcare questions, share the latest news on health subjects, and offer support from a shared perspective.
On HealthUnlocked, caregivers can find answers and support for Alzheimer’s along with other concerns that may be present.
As Alzheimer’s disease becomes more prevalent among the population, the caregivers who are personally dealing with the effects of the disease do not need to continue to feel alone. The Internet is connecting more people than ever before in history, and this includes those who are searching for help in their struggle to provide care to a love one with Alzheimer’s disease. The resources listed above are not the only ones available – If you know of any that I missed, please feel free to leave a comment with their name!
Author bio: This article was written by Jarrett Shedd for Senior Planning. Senior Planning provides free assistance to seniors and the disabled—finding and arranging care services, as well as applying for state and federal benefits.