Alzheimer’s Caregiving and Its Challenges: Interview with Monica Moreno of the Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Caregiving and Its Challenges: Interview with Monica Moreno of the Alzheimer’s Association
People caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease — especially women — often face a financial and emotional burden more severe than that experienced by others caring for those with chronic diseases, two surveys, both by groups connected to Alzheimer's, recently showed. To learn more about why such care is so difficult, and what the association does to help ease that burden, Alzheimer’s News Today spoke to Monica Moreno, senior director of care and support at the Alzheimer’s Association, which commissioned one of the surveys. “A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia impacts the entire family,” Moreno said. “At its core, families experience the gradual decline of someone they love. This leads to feelings of loss, grief, and sadness. The experience can be overwhelming and place an incredible strain on families.” She underscored that women are particularly affected.

Years upon years

Why is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, or another dementia, so particularly difficult? In addition to the stress of watching a loved one slowly fade away, Moreno said, the disease has a long duration. People with Alzheimer’s live for an average of four-to-eight years after diagnosis. Many live far longer. And as the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer’s becomes increasingly dependent on a caregiver. Another survey found that Alzheimer’s caregivers spend more time caring for their loved one compared to caregivers for other chronic ills. This is a physically and emotionally demanding situation, Moreno
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