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New Alzheimer's disease survey reveals children of sandwich caregivers assist with loved ones' care
Date:3/26/2008

Eric J. Hall, AFAs president and chief executive officer.

Due to the number of teenagers in caregiving roles, AFA recently stepped up its AFA Teens division, which educates and provides resources for these youngsters. AFA introduced a newly designed Web site, www.afateens.org, specifically for teens and the first of its kind AFA Teens for Alzheimers Awareness College Scholarship. The organization is also starting up AFA Teens chapters nationwide.

CAREGIVERS WANT MORE SUPPORT FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR CHILDREN

It is estimated that the 5.7 million Americans caring for aging relatives and loved ones also have children whom they care for. With the United States population aging rapidly, the need for family caregivers will markedly increase in the years ahead.

  • 70% of sandwich caregivers said they need more help caring for the person with Alzheimers disease as compared to 33% who say they need more help with their children.

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) would like more information about how to help their children cope when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimers disease.

A segment of young adults and teens assist with managing the daily needs of individuals with Alzheimers disease, and a small percent are even called upon to make informed decisions about treatment. Its crucial that they have access to good information sources, said Lesley Blake, M.D., clinical associate professor of psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. As Alzheimers disease progresses, declines in cognition, function and behavior worsen. Both adult and non-adult caregivers need to be educated about what to expect and, more importantly, what to do in these cases.

Proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial, said Dr. Blake. Symptoms loss of function, decline in cognitive ability and difficult behavior -- can be delayed and caregiver burden reduced through medication therapy, which may
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Contact: Mariana Rodrigues
mariana.rodrigues@fleishman.com
212-453-2351
Fleishman-Hillard, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert

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