Dementia: A women’s issue

WomanWheelchairHC1305_X_300_C_YBy Amy Charlot

When people think of women’s health issues, dementia is rarely at the top of the list. This is about to change. As the Baby Boomer population ages, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia will become more common.

This “Silver Tsunami” has a particularly strong impact on women. Of the 15.4 million unpaid caregivers for people with dementia, 70 percent
are women.

Many of these caregivers have had to cut back on work hours or stop working altogether to provide care for someone with dementia, leading to economic strain. This caregiving role can also be emotionally draining. Caregivers often experience anxiety, stress, guilt and depression, all of which negatively impact their health, and are risk factors for dementia.

However, there is a ray of hope: both men and women caring for someone with dementia in Whatcom County are not alone. The Alzheimer Society of Washington provides 16 support groups per month specifically tailored to caregivers of people with dementia. If you or someone you love is experiencing the strain of caregiving, please don’t hesitate to contact the society at 360/671-3316, or alzsociety.org.

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