Monday, October 18, 2010

'Alzheimer's is a Women's Issue'

California First Lady Maria Shriver is urging government officials and researchers -- and us -- to focus more time, money and energy on the needs of Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers. "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's" is a collaborative research effort with the Alzheimer's Association focused on the impact the disease has on women.

According to the report:

  • 60 percent of Alzheimer's patients are women.

  • 60 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers are women.

Alzheimer's experts praise the report for drawing attention to the challenges caregivers face.

"One of the most interesting things is that often, women actually don't even realize they need the support or that's it's acceptable to get support, because they're so used to caring for children and taking care of other responsibilities," said Mary Sano, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "This additional burden is taken on without even realizing it's going to have an impact on them and everything they do."

The report also calls for more affordable services for people with Alzheimer's to take some of the stress off caregivers and more programs designed to help caregivers deal with negative emotions. The Glenner Alzheimer's Family Centers' adult day health care programs provide such an outlet for caregivers throughout San Diego County.

Article: Maria Shriver Takes on Alzheimer's Disease
Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's