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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
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Categories

  • Human Burden
  • Innovative Medical Research
  • Human Value

Related Facts

  • In 2004, Alzheimer’s moved from the eigth leading cause of death to the seventh–overtaking influenza and pneumonia.  
  • The majority of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women–59%.  
  • 29% of all unpaid caregivers of older people in the U.S. are caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.  
  • In 2007, the 9.8 million family and other unpaid caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias provided 8.4 billion hours of care.  
  • Around 14 million baby boomers can expect to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.