Are You Familiar With These Five Alzheimer’s Resources?
Although the exact number is unknown, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that nearly eleven million Americans are providing care for a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. They also estimate that this voluntary group contributes around eighteen billion hours of care per year, totaling $234 billion of unpaid labor. That doesn’t even include the foregone wages they could be making if they weren’t caregiving. All of these numbers are expected to rise with the coming tide of baby boomers.
With no cure and no real means of prevention yet, Alzheimer’s will continue to place a heavy load not only on those who are directly suffering but on friends and relatives as well. Anyone who is familiar with Alzheimer’s knows that caregiving is not even the hardest part. Caregivers are forced to see those they love become entirely different people, sometimes losing their very essence. Although this sounds extremely bleak, there are many people going through the same thing, and as a result, there are resources available. Below are five resources that every caregiver should be aware of:
AgingCare describes itself as “your partner in caregiving.” This site is for caregivers of all types. It ranges from people dealing with diabetes to Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s. It’s a rich resource that can answer most caregiving questions, whether the questions are financial or emotional in nature.
This is the homepage of the United Kingdom’s Alzheimer’s Society. It has tons of helpful articles as well as ways to get involved with finding a cure. It also has very active forums which allow anyone who is affected by dementia to participate, whether you’re a friend, caregiver, or suffering from it yourself.
The Alzheimer’s Association in the United States runs this site and it has forums dedicated to caregivers or those suffering from dementia. The community is very active and incredibly friendly.
This site was founded by a woman named Joan Gershman whose husband died in June 2015 after a twelve-year battle with the disease. Self-described as “a place of comfort for spouses who are trying to cope with the Alzheimer’s/dementia of their husband/wife,” this site specifically focuses on the issues of dealing with the disease as a spouse. Since these issues are unique, this is an incredibly helpful website in finding likeminded people who are going through the same thing.
HealthUnlocked is one of the largest social networks for people with health concerns. It supplies answers to all of your health questions, latest news, and support from people in similar situations. Since it’s not specifically devoted to Alzheimer’s, it’s beneficial for those who want to discuss the disease in the context of other health issues that may be present. Caregivers will find support and answers to any questions they may have.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, but for those dealing with the disease, the concern exists year-round. With Alzheimer’s prevalence, those dealing with it need not feel isolated or alone. There are many resources available beyond the five I mentioned so if you have any favorites don’t hesitate to mention them in the comments.
Max Gottlieb is the content manager for Senior Planning. Senior Planning provides free assistance to seniors or the disabled and specializes in long-term care; including memory care, at-home care services, and applying for state and federal benefits