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Alzheimer's Care Needs Increasing Exponentially Across the Nation

There are now more than five million people in the United States living with Alzheimer's disease, which is a 10 percent increase from the previous nationwide estimate. For many families, Alzheimer's care begins and ends at home. Medical research indicates the stress associated with caregiving can lead to a weakened immune system and in some cases take years off the caregiver's life. Those risks increase when they manage caregiving responsibilities while working or raising a family.

"Caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer's is a huge responsibility," said Tom Donohue, owner of the Comfort Keepers franchise in Pittsburgh. "There is a risk of emotional burnout and a decline in health for family caregivers who do not make it a point to take much needed breaks."

Donohue shared the following tips for finding in-home care support:

Identify Job Details
Identify the specific functions you expect the help to perform to eliminate confusion. Details such as dressing the client, bathing, and eating need to be addressed.

What Kind of Person Should You Look For?
Qualifications you may require are: a bonded and insured worker, licensed driver and experienced in handling clients with Alzheimer's disease.

Some questions you should considering asking:

  • What did your duties consist of?
  • What was your daily schedule?

Help for Families
Help is available for those caring for an individual with the disease. The Alzheimer's Association chapter has many resources to assist family members. They can be contacted at (412) 261-5040 or by visiting their informative website at www.alz.org/pa

Many Alzheimer's patients can safely stay in their own home for a period of time, and that's where organizations like Comfort Keepers can provide in-home care assistance. "Our caregivers have been trained in how to provide in-home care for Alzheimer's disease clients. This training includes assisting the client with dressing or grooming, improving eating habits and how to enhance home safety to prevent wandering or driving," added Donohue.

For more information, contact Comfort Keepers at (412) 653-6100 or e-mail ck518@comfortkeepers.com

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