Silver Book Fact

Willena is 75 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago Her daughter and primary caregiver, Wanda

“Willena is 75 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago. Her daughter and primary caregiver, Wanda Richardson, believes that her mother went undiagnosed for at least 15 years prior to that time.

Willena’s family was told by an emergency room doctor that she had Alzheimer’s disease after she wandered away one morning and turned up at the neighborhood doughnut shop in her night clothes. She had displayed odd behaviors for many years says Wanda, 38, who now provides full-time care for her mother.

Willena requires 24-hour supervision. The smallest tasks have become test of endurance for her. Wanda explains,  ‘She does not respond to me anymore. It takes two hours to even get her ready for the day.’
Wanda’s life has changed as dramatically as her mother’s. She only works part-time now and her personal life is on hold. Mostly, she worries about her young son and how he is affected by her severely restricted life.

Wanda realizes that her mother will not get better and may live this way for years. ‘There needs to be more research done. We need a cure. I might be next,’ Wanda says.”

Investment in Research Saves Lives and Money. http://www.researchamerica.org/advocacy/investment.html. Published 2005

Reference

Title
Investment in Research Saves Lives and Money
Publisher
Research!America
Publication Date
Published 2005
Authors
Research!America
URL
Read Full Resource

Categories

  • Human Burden
  • Innovative Medical Research
  • Human Value

Related Facts

  • Based on preliminary data, Alzheimer’s disease was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2004, causing 65,829 deaths.  
  • Most Alzheimer’s caregivers are helping relatives–87%. The most common caregiver relationship is parent-child–57% are helping their mother, 36% are helping their mother-in-law, 11% are helping their father, and 29%…  
  • Physician visits were nearly triple for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers when compared to non-caregivers (95.5 per month/100 contrasted to 34.3 per month/100).  
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 5th leading cause of death in Americans age 65 and older.  
  • Severe Alzheimer’s disease can cause problems with mobility, eating and breathing. These complications can significantly increase risk for pneumonia–the most commonly identified cause of death in end-stage Alzheimer’s patients.