Alzheimer’s Caregivers Determined to Lower their own Risk of Cognitive Decline, May Not be Doing Enough

New Healthline Report Reveals Attitudes towards Disease Prevention Differ between each Generation of Caregivers

Findings show Millennials, Gen-Xers and Boomers can all benefit from earlier detections, improved resources and more emotional support

SAN FRANCISCO, May 30, 2018 – Nearly two-thirds of caregivers whose loved ones suffer from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s or related dementia say they would take medication to delay the onset of their own memory loss by even six months, if it were affordable and free of side effects. Sixty-four percent say they’ve already made healthy lifestyle modifications in an effort to prevent their own memory loss, making meaningful edits to their diet and exercise. However, only one-third of caregivers say they have been tested for the Alzheimer’s gene. These, and other, findings were revealed in a new report from Healthline Media, the fastest growing health information brand, reaching 39 million monthly users in the United States.

The report, “State of Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia 2018,” examines the current caregiving population, the challenges they face in caring for a loved one with the disease today and how advances in science and technology may affect caregiving roles in the future. The report included a survey of nearly 400 active caregivers across generations and in-depth interviews with medical experts and advocacy groups. The full report can be accessed at www.healthline.com/health/state-of-alzheimers.

“Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise, and the landscape is evolving – the types of clinical trials, treatments, resources/support, and the accelerated need for more family caregivers to take on the intensive responsibility of care for loved ones,” said Diane Ty, Project Director of the Global Social Enterprise Initiative and AgingWell Hub at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “Healthline’s report helps prepare the modern patient and caregiver for the new state of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.”

According to Healthline’s report, the intimate view of a loved one aging with Alzheimer’s or related dementia is prompting more caregivers (34 percent) to be genetically tested for the disease, something millennials (49 percent) are more proactive about than older generations (Gen Xers 36 percent, Boomers 17 percent.)

Most caregivers report that a specific incident prompted a medical evaluation for their loved one (70 percent.) In almost half of all cases the incident was the last in a series, though more than one quarter of the cases were the first of its kind. Interestingly, millennial caregivers were more likely to report a first-time incident led to a medical evaluation (41 percent) compared to other caregiver groups (Boomers 21 percent; Gen Xers 18 percent.)

Key Findings:

  • PATIENT
    • 67 percent take up to one year to receive a specific diagnosis
    • 41 percent had MCI (mild cognitive impairment) before an Alzheimer’s or related dementia diagnosis
    • 75 percent of Alzheimer’s or related dementia patients remain home or in a private residence despite the disease’s progression
  • CAREGIVER
    • 71 percent of caregivers are female
    • 72 percent of caregivers say their health has worsened since becoming caregivers
    • 1 of 2 caregivers have had their career and/or finances impacted due to caregiving responsibilities 
  • CAREGIVER RESOURCES
    • 42 percent of caregivers use in-person support groups, online communities/forums
    • 55 percent of caregivers say they are not getting adequate emotional support

“We know our readers – both patients and their caregivers – have individual health journeys and we always strive to understand their specific paths and how our content can best support them,” said Tracy Stickler, Editor in Chief, Healthline. “The latest “State of…” report helps deepen our understanding of the evolving needs of the caregiver so we can create content and programs to better support them in making critical decisions.

Healthline’s “State Of…” series examines consumer lifestyle data gathered by the website’s research team. “State of…” research results are paired with editorial content illustrating topics from the consumer’s perspective, highlighting credible, expert-informed insights to inform health decisions. The “State of…” series kicked off in July 2017 with the “State of Fertility,” followed by the “State of Care” and “State of Cancer.” “State of Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related  Dementia 2018” adds to the growing body of research in key disease states affecting Healthline’s readers – the modern healthcare consumer and their caregivers. Additional studies in this series will continue in 2018, examining other key disease states affecting Healthline’s readers.

About Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. There are currently 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, with 47 million people with the disease worldwide. One in every 10 Americans aged 65 or older is living with Alzheimer’s, with two-thirds being women. Alzheimer’s is the costliest disease in the United States, in raw expense of more than $270 billion annually, but also in the incalculable toll it takes on patient and caregiver alike.

About Healthline’s The State of Caregiving for Alzheimer’s or Related Dementia 2018

Healthline conducted a survey of nearly 400 active caregivers representing millennials, Gen X, and Boomers, and interviewed a dynamic group of medical and care experts to best understand the constraints, needs, and unspoken truths of living with and caring for an Alzheimer’s patient. The objective of the survey was to understand the role and responsibilities of unpaid Alzheimer’s or related dementia caregivers, identify the resources and tools used by these caregivers and gauge the impact caregiving has on the health, career, and finances of caregivers. Respondents were screened to confirm US residency, age 18+, and unpaid caregiving for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. The survey was fielded between February 16, 2018 – February 23, 2018.

About Healthline

As the fastest growing consumer health information site — with 39 million monthly visitors in the US (comScore, Jan 2018) — Healthline’s mission is to be our users’ most trusted ally in their pursuit of health and well-being. Healthline provides socially-inspired, medically-reviewed and data-driven content to help us all live stronger, healthier lives. Healthline’s flagship website http://www.healthline.com takes a whole-person approach to health and wellness information to support the modern health consumer.

Media Contact: Ingrid Eberly
Email: ieberly(at)healthline(dot)com
Office: (917)720-4386

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