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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

  • 9.8 million family members, friends and neighbors provided unpaid care for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia in 2007.  
  • Percent of Medicare Beneficiaries Age 65+ with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Who Had Specified Coexisting Medical Conditions (1999)  
  • The majority of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women–59%.  
  • Alzheimer’s Disease was the #5 cause of death for those over 65 in 2006 with 177 per 100,000 people.  
  • In 2002, Alzheimer’s disease caused 58,866 deaths.