According to The Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s and of that number, 96% are seniors over the age of 65. While research is continually being done to find new treatments, Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 cause of death in America that currently cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.
Alzheimer’s devastating effects are not only felt by its victims, but by family and friends as well. In most cases, a spouse, family member, or friend will provide home care for the individual until professional in-home supportive services are required. This can, and often does, create a great deal of stress as they work to care for a loved one in addition to keeping up with obligations in their own life.
An undeniable contributor to this caregiver stress is money. In order to care for their loved one, some family caregivers are forced to reduce hours at work or quit altogether. Other caregivers may choose to take on extra part-time work to help offset the costs of caregiving and support their families.
Last year in the U.S., family and friends provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid Alzheimer’s in-home care. Here are some fast facts on the cost of caring for Alzheimer’s in Minnesota from 2014:
- 248,000 total caregivers
- 282,000,000 total hours of unpaid care
- $3,430,000,000 total economic value of unpaid care
- $167,000,000 higher health costs of caregivers
For those suffering from caregiver stress, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Unchecked, these stressors can lead to serious health issues including caregiver burnout, a weakened immune system, and depression.
Best Home Care strives to provide support for caregivers with online resources that encourage a healthy lifestyle while providing home care. We also offer information and guidance on how to get paid for taking care of a family member and offset the costs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.