For a caregiver, it’s not just about taking care of those with Alzheimer’s. It’s also taking care of everything else in the caregivers’ life.
Mary Kay Adams sits in a Burger King just outside of Bridgewater at 10:30 on an early spring morning. It’s Wednesday but feels like Monday. She’s got her hands wrapped around a cup of hot chocolate. The steam rises up to her face, and she’s looking straight ahead.
Although her husband is the one with the disease, Adams needs respite. It’s a full-time job taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s, which is the main reason Adams left her job for early retirement.
“You have to do your job and theirs,” Adams said. “We (as caregivers) have to also maintain the household, get the groceries, pay the bills. Do all the things that we always did or maybe that our spouse did, and now, we’re doing both their job and ours.”
In 2017, more than 16 million Americans provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care in the form of physical, emotional and financial support – a contribution to the nation valued at $232.1 billion, the Alzheimer’s Association said.
According to the association, in Virginia 462,000 caregivers provided a total of 526 million hours of unpaid care, valued at a total of $6.64 billion. The difficulties associated with providing this level of care are estimated to have resulted in $305 million in additional healthcare costs for dementia caregivers in 2017, the association said. Via newsleader.com