Caring for the Care Partner – A Sneak Peek
Many don’t realize the risk associated with caregiving itself. More often than not, care partners have needs that are not met– leaving them in a struggle of their own. The following is a snippet from ARPF’s Online Brain Longevity Therapy Training (BLTT).
The abnormal brain changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease (AD) don’t just affect memory: They can eventually impair one’s ability to perform everyday living activities. Thus, many AD patients require daily assistance.
Care partners play a vital—yet often overlooked—role in helping those with memory loss remain as healthy as possible, as well as maintain their dignity and pride. And most do so unpaid, performing complex health care tasks without any clinical experience.
In 2015, AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving surveyed the unpaid family caregiving landscape. Their findings:
• Approximately 43.5 million US adults had provided unpaid care to an adult or child family member in the 12 months prior to being surveyed.
• In the US, almost 17% of the population, or nearly 40 million Americans, care for an adult—approximately 34.2 million of these people care for an adult age 50 or older, and half of all care partners provide care for someone 75 or older (a prime age group for dementia).
• Perhaps surprisingly, nearly one in 10 care partners is 75 or older themselves. This statistic underscores the importance of this course for care partners: Not only will it help them with their family member suffering from memory loss, but it will help ensure that they strive daily for optimal brain health so they can continue to be there for their loved one.
• Roughly a quarter of care partners provide care for someone with a memory problem; however, many of them (37%) responded that they care for someone with more than one chronic condition or illness, of which memory loss is one likely candidate.
• In particular, higher-hour care partners (those spending 21 or more hours a week on the task) are a vulnerable population: They are more likely to experience emotional stress and other negative impacts on their health or well-being—thereby increasing their own risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
• As previously mentioned, the majority of care partners, half according to the report, had no choice about taking on their caregiving responsibilities, thus experiencing increased strain and stress—and the physical and mental health ramifications that come with these emotions.
• Alzheimer’s and other chronic or long-term conditions are especially likely to trigger emotional stress in care partners.
• Six in 10 care partners are also employed while caregiving, adding to the strain of the role.
ARPF’s 4 Pillar approach and all the strategies outlined in BLTT can truly become lifesaving for care partners. To find out more ways to become a happier, healthier care partner or to help the needs of care partners you love, join our life-changing program: Brain Longevity Therapy Training.