My mom was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After looking at all of my personal and financial options, I have decided that it would be best for me to take on the role as an informal caregiver. This was a tough call to make, but I’m confident this is the best way to ensure my mom gets the care she needs.
However, I feel a little isolated right now. I have a great support system. My wife is amazing and I have a great group of friends, but I don’t believe any of them truly understand what I am going through.
It seems silly to ask but I was wondering if you could give me some info to make me feel less alone. First off, how many caregivers are caring for parents with dementia? And how many caregivers are there in the US? Any info would be appreciated.
First off, congratulations on making such a difficult decision! I’m sure your mother appreciates all of the care you will provide for her, even if it doesn’t seem apparent all the time.
Secondly, I understand your feelings of isolation, and I have some encouraging words: You are not alone. The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP compiled results for 2015 about informal caregivers:
- About 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older.
- Eighty-two percent of caregivers care for one other adult, while 15% care for 2 adults and 3% care for 3 or more adults.
- Furthermore, about 15.7 million Americans care for family members with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
However, facts and figures are only going to mitigate your isolation so much. Luckily, there are several resources for you to access and meet others. Caregiver Resource has an online forum where you can register and interact with people in your situation, and the Family Caregiver Alliance has a whole list of support groups, both online and in-person. Reaching out to new friends could help ease your loneliness.
I hope this information is helpful, Cordelia! Please let me know if you need any other information or advice.