Dementia caregivers: Overlooked and underappreciated

Dementia caregivers: Overlooked and underappreciatedDementia caregivers: Overlooked and underappreciated

Numerous scientific articles have been published which focus on the people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, focusing primarily on their wellbeing and disease pathology. However, the caregivers and care partners for people with dementia have been an often-overlooked group for some time. Only recently have studies emerged showing the immense burden that these individuals often face when caring for their loved one, which can result in its own slew of mental and physical health problems.

More than 11 million Americans (1 in 30 of us) are unpaid caregivers for a loved one with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that in 2021, these caregivers provided more than 16 billion hours of care, labor which is valued at approximately $272 billion. (For reference, that’s 14 times the annual revenue of McDonald’s.) These numbers are increasing each year, as the prevalence of dementia continues to rise.

Key takeaways

  • Research shows that caregivers who are taking care of patients with dementia report high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. 
  • Multiple ways exist to help caregivers reduce their stress levels, such as practicing self-compassion, increasing positive coping strategies, and finding support groups. 
  • More research is still needed to determine the impact on the mental and physical well-being of dementia caregivers and to determine the best practices that can help them better cope with the situation.

Who are these caregivers?

Caregivers mental health

Taking care of the caretakers


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