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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

  • Over 40% of caregivers who care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias report high levels of stress.  
  • Medicare beneficiaries who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias visited a physician 1.3 times more frequently than other beneficiaries.  
  • Studies indicate that people aged ≥65 years survive an average of 4 to 8 years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.  
  • The typical Alzheimer’s caregiver is a woman, 48 years old, married, employed, without children at home, and with at least some college education.  
  • In 2011, Alzheimer’s caregivers provided an estimated 17.4 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at over $210 billion.