Alzheimer’s, Dementia Caregiver Burden Grows in Pennsylvania | News, Sports, Jobs
The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report reveals that the burden of caregivers with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia continues to grow in Pennsylvania. Today, more than 400,000 family members and friends are unpaid dementia carers across the Commonwealth, providing 464 million hours of unpaid care, worth $10.7 billion. dollars.
Caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia face unique challenges. They report higher rates of chronic conditions, including stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, compared to non-caregivers. In Pennsylvania, 56% of caregivers reported having at least one of these chronic conditions.
The prevalence of depression is higher among caregivers with dementia (30% to 40%) than among caregivers with other conditions such as schizophrenia (20%) or stroke (19%). In Pennsylvania, 22% of caregivers reported depression.
I call on all state policymakers and community leaders to implement immediate actions to support family caregivers across Pennsylvania. We must establish and fund public health infrastructure for Alzheimer’s disease and emphasize the importance of early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.
The Alzheimer’s Association provides support to all caregivers through our 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900 and our website alz.org/pa. Now is the time to unite in the search for a better future in a world without Alzheimer’s disease.
(Clayton Jacobs is executive director, Alzheimer’s Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter.)
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