Impact of Alzheimer's on caregivers' physical, mental health - FOX 13 News

Impact of Alzheimer's on caregivers' physical, mental health

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Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease can be a full-time job that leaves you will little time for yourself. Currently in the U.S., there are 5.1 million people with Alzheimer's and that is expected to almost triple to 14 million by mid-century.

FOXNews correspondent Jamie Colby attended a recent conference in New York City to learn more about the disease and how to help the caregivers.

Part of the annual AFA conference features a simulated dementia experience where caregivers try to perform basic tasks through the eyes, ears, hands and feet of a person suffering from Alzheimer's.

Basic tasks like folding clothes, writing a letter and pouring water seem to be quite difficult during the virtual tour.

AFA President Carol Steinberg said, "We do this because caregivers really need education and there's just not enough training out there for caregivers. This disease is monumental. Nothing really prepares them for how to deal with it and everything could change on a dime with this disease. So they really need to learn practical skills that can get them through daily challenges."

The free educational conference is for family and professional caregivers, and individuals with dementia.

Steinberg said, "We feel that many people are not diagnosed either because of fear, denial, lack of information about symptoms, so if you add those people in we are in really dealing with a silver tsunami."

Patrick and Katie Kammerer's father has had Alzheimer's for 13 years. They are attending the conference to share their story and learn more.

Katie said, "Being a caregiver, it's one of the biggest things and most important thing in our lives right now. Our biggest priority is our dad because with Alzheimer's he needs care all the time. It's tough not having a father but being here; we're going to be telling people about what it's like being a caregiver and how it is 24/7 with our family."

Steinberg says she wants to remind caregivers that caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can impact their own physical and mental health.

For more information about Alzheimer's disease and how you can help, call the Alzheimer's Foundation of America at 866-232-8484 or visit their Web site -- http://www.alzfdn.org/.

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