Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease can be a full-time job that leaves you little time for yourself. In the U.S., there are about 5.1 million people with Alzheimer's – and that is expected to almost triple to 14 million by mid-century.
At a recent Alzheimer's Foundation of America conference in New York City, Fox News correspondent Jamie Colby was able to experience what caregivers go through to perform basic tasks for someone suffering from Alzheimer's.
Basic things like folding clothes, writing a letter and pouring water seem to be quite difficult.
Nothing really prepares them for how to deal with it and everything could change on a dime with this disease. So they really need to learn practical skills that can get them through daily challenges
- AFA President Carol Steinberg
"We do this because caregivers really need education and there's just not enough training out there for caregivers. This disease is monumental,” said AFA President Carol Steinberg. “Nothing really prepares them for how to deal with it and everything could change on a dime with this disease. So they really need to learn practical skills that can get them through daily challenges."
The free educational conference is for family and professional caregivers, and individuals with dementia.
"We feel that many people are not diagnosed either because of fear, denial, lack of information about symptoms,” Steinberg said. “So if you add those people in we are in really dealing with a silver tsunami."
Patrick and Katie Kammerer's father has had Alzheimer's for 13 years. They are attending the conference to share their story and learn more.
"Being a caregiver, it's one of the biggest things and most important thing in our lives right now,” Katie Kammerer said. “Our biggest priority is our dad because with Alzheimer's he needs care all the time. It's tough not having a father but being here; we're going to be telling people about what it's like being a caregiver and how it is 24/7 with our family."
Steinberg says she wants to remind caregivers that caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can impact their own physical and mental health.
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