Dover, Ohio – The Alzheimer’s Association Greater East Ohio Area Chapter invites community members, caregivers, and the interested public to a community forum on addressing Alzheimer’s in Tuscarawas County on Thursday, April 25, from 6-8:00 p.m. at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital (659 Boulevard St., Dover, OH 44622.) Check-in at 5:45 p.m. Following a presentation on memory loss, participants will have the opportunity to share thoughts and input on how the Alzheimer’s Association can better serve people in Tuscarawas County. Light refreshments will be provided.
“Dementia is the umbrella term for an individual’s changes in memory, thinking or reasoning,” notes Amy Woodland, a program coordinator with the chapter. “There are many possible causes of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases, but Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging: it’s a progressive brain disorder.” Woodland presents community education programs the Alzheimer’s Association offers to local community groups and service clubs, including topics such as “Know the 10 signs” or “Understanding and responding to dementia-related behavior.”
In Tuscarawas County, more than 2,500 individuals are living with Alzheimer’s disease; for each individual, 2-3 are presently providing unpaid care as caregivers.
“Too often we hear from caregivers, ‘I wish I’d known these resources were available sooner,’” notes Karen Elliott, program director with the Alzheimer’s Association. “We need community leaders and volunteers to expand that reach and awareness.”
Tuscarawas County’s local caregiver support group meets at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital in the Reeves South Conference Room on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Caregivers come to share experiences, tips, information, and offer support in a setting facilitated by staff or trained volunteers.
“Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital is pleased to be able to provide meeting space for this important conversation that will connect the Alzheimer’s Association to officials and citizens in our community,” said Darrin Lautenschleger, Director of Community Relations at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital. “We expect that everyone present will gain a greater understanding of current Alzheimer’s Association services and what the future can be.”
Registration for the community forum is requested. Contact Karen Elliott at 234.284.2750 or email@example.com.
Today’s Dementia Caregiver
According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia – a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.
In 2018, caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of unpaid assistance, a contribution to the nation valued at $234 billion.
- Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers.
- Nearly half of all caregivers (48 percent) who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- In 2018, the lifetime cost of care for a person living with dementia was $350,174.
- Among primary caregivers of people with dementia, over half take care of their parents.
- Approximately one quarter of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers, meaning they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.
- The responsibilities of caring for someone with dementia often fall to women; approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women.
- One-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
- Of those providing care to someone with dementia for more than five years, 63 percent are women.
- Two and a half times as many women reported living with the person with dementia full time.
- Because female caregivers tend to spend more time caregiving, take on more caregiving tasks and are more likely to care for someone with a greater number of behavioral problems, they may experience higher levels of burden, depression and impaired health than men.
- Several sources have examined the demographic background of caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and found the following:
- About one in three caregivers (34 percent) is age 65 or older.
- Over 60 percent of caregivers are married, living with a partner or in a long-term relationship.
- Forty-one percent of caregivers have a household income of $50,000 or less.
- Most caregivers (66 percent) live with the care recipient in the community.
"Behind these staggering statistics are many compelling, inspiring and heroic stories of caregivers who make daily sacrifices to make a difference in the lives of those they care for," notes Cheryl Kanetsky, executive director at the Alzheimer’s Association. "And there are so many more people we have yet to reach with our free care and support services, for those with memory loss, and their caregivers."
To help caregivers balance competing priorities while maintaining their overall health and well-being, the Alzheimer’s Association offers these tips:
- Take Care of Yourself – It can be easy to neglect your health while caring for others, but making sure you are healthy can help you be a better caregiver. Try to eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. Carving out just 30 minutes a day for yourself to do something you enjoy can go a long way to reducing caregiver stress.
- Maintain Good Communication – Help other family members understand the demands you’re facing and enlist their help and support. A 2017 Alzheimer’s Association survey found that 91 percent of Americans believe it “takes a village” to care for a person living with Alzheimer’s, but many caregivers fail to ask for help.
- Seek Support – Organize friends and family who want to help provide care and support. Access local support groups or online communities to connect with other caregivers. If stress becomes overwhelming, seek professional help.
- Know You’re Doing Your Best – It's normal to lose patience or feel like your care may fall short sometimes. You're doing the best you can. For support and encouragement, consider joining an online or in-person support group.
“Too many caregivers are hesitant to ask for help or they just don’t know how,” Elliott adds. “That’s why our free education programs, caregiver support groups, the 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900), and all of the resources atalz.org are so important.”
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and to find resources for caregivers, families and people living with the disease, visit www.alz.org. The complete Facts and Figures report, updated annually in the spring, is available at alz.org/facts.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.