Friday, March 13, 2009

Quoting from . . .

pages 75-76

Caregivers who accompany patients to the Froedtert Senior Health Program's Geriatric Evaluation Cinic, where Dr. Kerwin practices, [Dr. Diana R. Kerwin, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the Medical College of Wisconsin] are screened for "caregiver stress" and see a gerontology nurse and social worker, who answer their questions, provide information, and help create a plan for the care of the patient. Caregivers are given a kit with information about support groups and community services, including adult day care, home care agencies, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, and respite care. "What we're seeing is that Alzheimer's is not a typical disease model, precisely because the health and well-being of the caregiver is affected as well as the patient. I know when I assume care of the Alzheimer's patient, I am also caring for the caregiver."

The Alzheimer's Association says that more than 80 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers report that they frequently experience high levels of stress, and nearly half say they suffer from depression. The National Family Caregiver Alliance terms caregiver depression "one of today's all-too-silent health crises." The alliance estimates that caregiving spouses between the ages of sixty-six and ninety-six who are experiencing mental or emotional strain have a 63 percent higher risk of dying than people the same age who are not caregivers.

Studies have shown that if caregivers receive individualized support and counseling, people with Alzheimer's may stay out of nursing homes longer.
The importance of taking care of the Caregiver . . .

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