Boardman, Ohio – November is both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and National Family Caregiver Month, an opportunity to honor all those impacted by memory loss and dementia. The Kawecki Family of Horizon Management, Inc. in Boardman lost their mother to Alzheimer’s in November 2017, and are using the month of November to honor her memory at 24 stores they own locally in the Mahoning Valley, welcoming customers to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s.
“Someone once stated that ‘No one can take your memories away from you,’… in our experience with Alzheimer’s, we know that's not true,” said Elaine Kawecki, co-owner of Horizon Management, Inc. Throughout the month of November, visit your locally owed Save-A-Lot in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, and at checkout, you will have the option to make a “forget-me-not” pinup donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. Each store is working toward a goal $1,000 to fund Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
The Alzheimer’s Association Greater East Ohio Area Chapter provides free care and support to Mahoning Valley families impacted by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, in the form of a 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900), community education programs and presentations, monthly caregiver support groups, and family care consultations from their local office in Canfield – providing individualized resources to families and caregivers.
“Cherish your memories of loved ones and friends, and support Alzheimer’s research,” Kawecki asks. For a list of participating locations, visit nemenzkaweckisavealot.com. For information on local care and support, visit: alz.org/akroncantonyoungstown or call: 800.272.3900.
Today’s Dementia Caregiver
According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
report, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. About 16.1 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.
These caregivers provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of care, valued at over $232 billion. Increasingly, dementia caregivers are juggling multiple demands, including work, family and geographic separation.
- More than 1 in 10 caregivers (12 percent) are long-distance caregivers, living more than an hour away from the care recipient.
- The majority of dementia caregivers are women (58 percent).
- Dementia caregivers are, on average, 54 years old.
- One in six millennials (age 18-34) are serving as caregivers to someone living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
- One quarter of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.
"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 at alz.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 leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.™ For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.