Caregivers of Alzheimer's patients neglect their own health

Caregivers of Alzheimer's patients neglect their own health

WSFA/NBC - Deaths from Alzheimer's disease have more than doubled in the last 15 years and those rates continue to increase.

Dr. Andrew Keegan said, "We still haven't come up with a good treatment yet. That's one of the challenging aspects. So people may be living with good care, but still, are suffering from Alzheimer's disease and eventually dying from that disease in some cases,"

Research is ongoing for both prevention and treatment. However, it's been more than 15 years since a new medication has been approved for Alzheimer's dementia.

While patients wait for new treatments, the burden on caregivers is growing. Shree Lele says it's a full-time job.

"Mornings are usually pretty good. Afternoons are usually a problem, from about 3:00 until about 6:30 is very stressful," said Lele.

Lele has help with his wife a few days a week and says it's important to take time to care for himself.

"Time to do some things without feeling any guilt. However, once the hours are finished and I go back, it's back to square one,"

Caregivers often have health issues because they are less likely to care for themselves. Keegan suggests finding a support group for the caregivers and finding time to relax.

Doctors also recommend getting screened for Alzheimer's early to help be better prepared.

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