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Who Has the Toughest Time: People with Alzheimer’s or Their Caregivers?

MotherDaughter_dario-valenzuela-PAGBeJrLiDA-unsplash_smallPhoto credit Dario Valensuela

Though they look through the prism of the future from different angles, people with Alzheimer's disease and their loved ones will likely find their lives dramatically altered after the onset and diagnosis of AD. Certainly, the person who develops the disease is facing a life-altering and ultimately terminal disease. However, because of the intensive care needed by people with advanced Alzheimer's, and the pain involved in watching a loved one gradually lose their cognitive abilities, some people wonder if the caregivers endure more than the person with the disease.

Every case of Alzheimer's disease is as unique as the individual with the disease, and every caregiver brings unique traits to their caregiving journey. Each configuration, also, has different resources, different support systems and different coping skills. Thus, there is no one answer, and if there were the answer would likely change, depending on the challenges of any particular day.

A quick look at the Alzheimer's journey from inside: At this time, Alzheimer's disease is considered incurable. People who develop AD tend to die from seven to 10 years after diagnosis, though some can live as long as 20 years. Still, upon diagnosis, the person diagnosed knows instantly that his or her life is going to change dramatically.

Continue reading on Agingcare for some thoughts about who finds the Alzheimer's journey harder (bottom line could be it depends on the day, but this article provides some insights):

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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