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Some caring for Alzheimer’s patients make “startling” sacrifices

By Mary Brophy Marcus CBS News March 30, 2016, 7:24 AM

Almost half of the people caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease are sacrificing their own financial security to do so, and many are setting aside their own basic needs, a new nationwide survey shows.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, many caregivers put off their own medical care, sell their cars to raise money, draw from funds meant for their kids’ education, and even cut back on food to support a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

On average, the report found they spent more than $5,000 a year of their own money to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, but amounts varied widely and some spent far more.

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, slowly robs people of memory and eventually leaves them completely dependent on others.

“There’s no way to slow it, prevent it or cure it,” Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Constituent Services for the Alzheimer’s Association, told CBS News.

When it comes to those caring for Alzheimer’s patients, the new report shows sacrifices may include:

  • Cutbacks in personal spending. Almost 48 percent of the relatives or friends caring for Alzheimer’s patients said they have decreased their own personal spending and needs over the past year, or have drawn from savings and retirement accounts, to scrape together money needed for care expenses. Read full article

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