What We’re Reading Now: Resources for Caregivers

“What We’re Reading Now” is a new series where we will share the latest blogs and articles we find helpful for family caregivers.

There have been several noteworthy stories about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the news lately. Their statistics alone are staggering – more than 5.4 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s in the United States and nearly 4% of this population are diagnosed before age 65, as noted in the following article: New Alzheimer’s research is changing how we think about — and treat — the disease

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With the New Year in full swing, people tend to focus on self-care with resolutions to eat right, lose weight, and exercise – all good goals for a healthy lifestyle. But for family caregivers of people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, resolutions are rarely made as the focus on caring for the disease-stricken loved one becomes the primary concern over all others – including the caregiver’s own health. We found this latest blog post to be filled with inspiring and practical resolutions to take care of you, written by those who have been in this caregiver role and discovered the hard way that self-care is just as important as taking care of others:  The Alzheimer’s Caregiver – New Year Resolutions.

As our family members continue to age and we become more responsible for their care, we face many questions and difficult decisions relating to their well-being. How can I support them with a full time job and children? What is the best living situation for their needs? We found this post to be helpful as it is a personal account of one man’s journey in caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s disease: A love tested yet strengthen by Alzheimer’s.

What are you reading now…anything we should include in our series? Feel free to leave your suggestions for this series in the comments below or send us a Tweet!


One Comment on "What We’re Reading Now: Resources for Caregivers"

  1. HOWARD says:

    January 20, 2012
    MED-Q has been designed to ease the burden of Caregivers. The fact of the matter is more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one. All this is done with out the help of a reliable, affordable way to ensure Medication Compliance.
    Caregivers are over worked, underpaid and under appreciated. In a busy world they forget to remind others to take their medication properly. With the Med_Q Pill Box Compliance System forgetting becomes virtually impossible. The “All-in-One” electronic Pillbox Dispenser reminds you with dual alarm technology. You set the alarms for the times you choose and they will remind you with a flashing light on the individual box that needs to be taken, This is MED-Q’s patented LED-Litebox Technology. The unit has an audio alarm as well Why is there a need for MED-Q, the statistics are staggering:
    • A wife’s hospitalization increased her husband’s chances of dying within a month by 35%. A husband’s hospitalization boosted his wife’s mortality risk by 44%.
    Nicholas D. Christakis, Professor, Health-care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Suzanne Salamon, M.D., Associate Chief, Geriatric Psychiatry, Beth Israel eaconess Hospital, Boston,New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 16, 2006

    • 20 hours per week is the average number of hours family caregivers spend caring for their loved ones while 13% of family caregivers are providing 40 hours of care a week or more
    Caregiving in the United States;
    National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP. November 2009

    • 36% of family caregivers care for a parent and 7 out of 10 caregivers are caring for loved ones over 50 years old
    AARP. November 2009

    • Women who are family caregivers are 2.5 times more likely than non-caregivers to live in poverty and five times more likely to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
    Study conducted by researchers at Rice University
    and data compiled from the Health and Retirement Study
    funded by the National Institute of Aging and conducted by the University of Michigan, 1992-2004

    • 47% of working caregivers indicate an increase in caregiving expenses has caused them to use up ALL or MOST of their savings.
    Evercare Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving;
    National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009

    • The average family caregiver for someone 50 years or older spends $5,531 per year on out of pocket care giving expenses in 2007 which was more than 10% of the median income for a family caregiver that year.
    Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving, 2008 Update. AARP

    • Nearly three quarters (72%) of family caregivers report not going to the doctor as often as they should and 55% say they skip doctor appointments for themselves.
    Evercare Study of Caregivers in Decline: A Close-Up Look at Health Risks of Caring for a Loved One.
    National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. 2006ie

    • 20% of employed female caregivers over 50 years old report symptoms of depression.
    MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs;
    MetLife Mature Market Institute. February 2010\

    • 40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression.
    Zarit, S. (2006). Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Research Perspective

    • More than 1 in 10 (11%) of family caregivers report that
    caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate.
    How Do Family Caregivers Fare? A Closer Look at their Experiences. Center on Aging Society. 2005

    • Family caregivers experiencing extreme stress have been shown to age prematurely. This level of stress can take as mu 10 years off a family caregiver’s life..
    Elissa S as Epel, Dept of Psychiatry, Univ of Calif, SF, et al,
    From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dec 7, 2004, Vol 101, No. 49ch

    • 66% have had to make some adjustments to their work life, from reporting late to work to giving up work entirely; and 1 in 5 family caregivers have had to take a leave of absence.
    Caregiving in the United States;
    National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP. November 2009

    MED-Q Pillbox Compliance System has helped people “RESOLVE TO BE HEALTHY” View at MEDQPILLBOX.com or at GETMEDQ.com

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