In 2014, friends and family of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $217.7 billion (nearly 8 x the revenue of McDonald’s in 2013!). Our society owes a great debt of gratitude to these caregivers. Unfortunately, caregiving takes a toll on caregivers, especially those dealing with the challenges of dementia care.

  • Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; about 40 percent suffer from depression.
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.7 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2014.

Florida Alzheimer’s Statistics:

  • Approximately 12% of Florida seniors suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Over 1 million caregivers provided 1,205,000,000 hours of unpaid care in 2014, with a monetary value of $14,669,000,000 to our state.

As longtime elder and caregiver advocates in Florida, our team has been deeply committed to Alzheimer’s awareness and caregiver assistance. In addition to our direct work with families, our team participates in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, provides free dementia education events in our community and offers an array of free resources on our site and newsletter.

If you need help with any Alzheimer’s care resources, contact us anytime. Alzheimer’s caregivers may want to check out our Slideshare presentation on dementia symptoms and care tips. We believe caregivers need education and tools to manage caregiving challenges. Respite care is one of the most important resources for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

Respite Care for Alzheimer’s Disease Tips

Respite care is designed to give caregivers a break, while someone else ensures the safety and well-being of their “caree”. Just imagine being a caregiver who knows your loved one is unsafe when left alone and the struggle to do simple errands or even deal with your own health needs. Some caregivers use respite care on a regular basis, while it can also be used for occasional extended breaks such as attending family events or taking vacations.

  • Find out about the options for respite care, costs and organizations that can help. In-home caregivers might be your best option due to the familiar surroundings and routine. You may be able to get help from friends, family and your faith community, but at some point you will probably need professional caregivers for respite needs. Your local aging agency and Alzheimer’s Association may offer financial assistance with some respite care. A geriatric care manager can also help you assess the best options.
  • Give respite care a trial run long before you feel you need it. If you get completely run down, you may find you have an urgent need for help and may have less time to prepare and find quality respite care. Do some research and allow yourself the time to feel comfortable with your options.
  • Make sure respite caregivers are trained in dementia specialty care.
  • Prepare substitute caregivers with the information and tools to do a good job. You know so much about your loved one: daily routine, things that cause upset, behavioral quirks, favorite activities, comforting items/activities, food preferences and so much more. Get our respite care checklist to be ready!

*Statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association, 2015 Facts and Figures