Dementia Caregivers Are Often Women

Among families with a loved one with dementia, 83% take on the role of primary caregiver.
Among families with a loved one with dementia, 83% take on the role of primary caregiver.

HealthDay News — When it comes to the daily care of Americans with dementia, most of the responsibility is still falling on family members, with women handling the lion's share, according to a viewpoint piece published in JAMA Neurology.

Nicholas Bott, PsyD, of Stanford University in California, points out that it's well-known that family members provide most of the care for dementia patients in the United States — 83%, by Alzheimer's Association estimates. But Dr Bott said he and his colleagues wanted to shine a light on the issue.

"One of the challenges in this country is that we have not adequately appreciated the full social impact of dementia," Dr Bott told HealthDay. "It's not just the patient who is diagnosed with dementia — it's the family."

The number of Americans with dementia is expected to rise to 8.4 million by 2030, according to Dr Bott. "So the number of family caregivers will necessarily increase," he said. "We hope we can bring some needed attention to the issues they face, and get more people talking about it."

Reference

Bott NT, Sheckter CC, Milstein AS. Dementia care, women's health, and gender equity: the value of well-timed caregiver support [Published online May 08, 2017]. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.0403

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