According to the Alzheimer’s Association Web site, it is estimated that as many as five million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That includes 13 percent over the age of 65 and nearly 50 percent who are 85 and older.
Erie County Serving Our Seniors’ research has identified 124 individuals in the 65-75-age bracket caring for a loved one with memory impairment.
Figuring out what it takes to sustain the physical and emotional energy of family caregivers is worth millions, when you consider the alternative -- the cost of nursing home care for everyone in the United States suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder.
I recently discovered there is a study taking place to identify ways to help family caregivers. If you are caring for a friend or relative who is still living at home and experiencing mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (or other type of memory impairment) you need to know about this!
It’s called The Caregiver Knowledge & Skills Project. It’s a research study being conducted by The University Memory & Aging Center of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
By participating in the study the family/friend who is the caregiver will:
- Take part with other caregivers from Erie County in six two-hour workshops (one per week for six weeks) designed to provide knowledge and skills for the family caregivers.
- Read materials and practice what is learned in between the weekly workshops.
- Take part in an eight-month follow-up program (either by mail or computer). This is designed to enhance the benefits of the workshop. The type of follow up will be determined randomly.
- Answer questions by mail four times over the course of the study about their well-being and their experiences with attitudes toward care giving.
- Be asked the caregiver's opinion about the workshop and follow-up program when the study is completed.
There is no cost to participate in the Caregiver Knowledge & Skills Project.
Knowledge and skills are really powerful tools for coping with the demands and the frustrations associated with caregiving.
I want to encourage anyone in this situation to call me.
This is an opportunity to help yourself, the person you are caring for and others who may be walking in your shoes in the future.
For more information call me at 419-624-1856 or 800-564-1856.