Women’s Work Is Never Done: New Report on Alzheimer’s Caregiving

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 13 June 2012

The old saying takes on new meaning in this caregiving generation; a new study cites that daughters, particularly working ones, are the the primary caregivers for parents affected by Alzheimer’s.

After conducting a survey of approximately 2,500 women, the Working Mother Research Institute released Women and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Caregiver’s Crisis. The data shows that this type of intense caregiving has a major, and sometimes destructive, impact, affecting their emotional health, their financial status, their careers, and their families. One shocking statistic demonstrates just how many are part of this demographic: “6.7 million women devote some 10 billion hours per year to caregiving for Alzheimer’s patients—which works out to about $126 billion in unpaid labor.” (Read the full report here.)

Pointing to stress, loneliness, and countless other difficulties experienced throughout the Alzheimer’s caregiving journey, one woman shared: “It is a very, very lonely life at this point, and I am still in the early stages.”

Respite is an issue emphasized frequently among senior care resource sites, support groups and organizations, but the sentiment expressed in that woman’s words hits on another very important core element of successful caregiving: connecting with others. Just as it is essential for seniors to connect and prevent the harmful effects of isolation, so too should caregivers reach out and connect with others in similar shoes. Read this recent guest post on our site, Caregivers Need Someone to Hold Their Hand, to learn more.



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