Contrary to what some people may believe, the overwhelming majority of Alzheimer's sufferers are cared for by family members or friends, according to the president of the Alzheimer's Association.
Alzheimer’s Association president Harry Johns was interviewed by USA Today, wherein he attempted to clarify some misperceptions some people may have about Alzheimer's. One of the main ones is that caretakers, not hospitals, are typically the ones that tend to people suffering from Alzheimer's.
"The truth is, 70 percent of Alzheimer's patients live at home and are being cared for by about 15 million unpaid family members and friends," said Johns. "The stress on the caregiver can be very high. No other disease has this kind of impact on the caretaker."
Johns noted that he himself was a caretaker for his mother who was stricken with the disease. One of the most difficult things for him to do was when her conditioned worsened to the point that he had to prevent her from driving.
"It's the single worst conversation I've ever had to have in my life," Johns told USA Today.
Recently, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists emphasized how important it is for caretakers to not forsake their own health, as doing so could jeopardize how they care for their loved ones who have Alzheimer's.