Erna Colborn at Washington Post Live’s Caregiving in America forum in Chicago. (Photo by Ashlee Rezin/The Washington Post)
A third of Alzheimer’s caregivers report that they’ve been caregiving for more than five years, and 70 percent have been doing it for more than a year. So that’s a really long period of time. The second thing that’s really different about Alzheimer’s caregiving is that the nature of the caregiving is much more personal. Individuals with Alzheimer’s need a lot of help with those personal-care items — bathing and dressing and eating and toileting — and that leaves a lot of caregivers uncomfortable. It’s nursing skills that they’re probably not really trained for.
“We know that the health of the caregiver is impacted to a greater degree when they’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.”
-Erna Colborn, president, Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter