The family strain of Alzheimer’s
which can take both a physical and an emotional toll on the carer, with a third admitting to feeling physically drained, and 21% experiencing stress, nervousness or panic attacks. “If you care for somebody with Alzheimer’s disease, it is critical that you put your own physical health first and manage your emotional wellbeing – educating yourself on the condition and being realistic about what you can expect in terms of the disease progression and the levels of care you can provide,” explains Dr Nina Byrnes. “It can be incredibly sad to see a loved one affected by this disease, so maintaining a positive outlook and focusing on the small glimpses of the person you love can be helpful.”
Nearly 30,000 people in Ireland are living with Alzheimer’s disease… and so are the people who care for them. Now a new online resource is offering the sort of support that might just make their lives easier – with practical tools and expert advice about symptoms and future planning. Dominic Swordon takes a look.
Of the 44,000 people in Ireland
the emotional and financial impact
living with some form of dementia,
the disease can have on carers.
For further information on Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.mypeaceofmind.ie.
two-thirds have Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive degenerative
As for the financial impact of the
If you think you or a loved one is experiencing
brain disease that interferes with
disease, 57% of carers surveyed
symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease visit your
their memory, judgment, and their
said their loved one’s illness had
GP for further advice.
ability to care for themselves or live
impacted on their family’s financial
stability, while a startling 75% said their loved one did not create an
What’s more, recent research has
enduring power of attorney that
found that 75% of the people who
would clearly set out their wishes
care for them believe the burden of
as the disease progresses.
care has created additional strain between them and other family
“It’s understandable that financial
members, while 67% have found
and legal planning is put on the
they can’t get others to commit to
back burner when a loved one
share that care.
receives an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, but this can have very
A new website
significant implications in the
longer term,” warns personal
sponsored by Lundbeck Ireland,
finance expert Jill Kerby. “Visit
offers a range of practical tools and
www.mypeaceofmind.ie to find
guidance from Irish experts about
out more about legal and financial
issues such as knowledge and
understanding of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (more than
www.mypeaceofmind.ie If you care for a love one living with Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll find a range of practical tools to help at www.mypeaceofmind.ie. All three sections feature an expert video, an interactive tool, and a real-life testimonial from other carers.
IDENTIFYING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
HELPING HAND FOR CARERS
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
Expert videos: Consultant Geriatrician Prof. William Molloy on “ Recognising early symptoms”; and Consultant Geriatrician Prof. Desmond O’Neill on “Driving with dementia”.
Expert Video: Dr Nina Byrnes, GP, on “Care for the carer”.
Expert video: Personal finance expert Jill Kerby on “Planning for the future”.
Real-life testimonial: The Rimmer Family, Dublin, on “Caring for Mum”.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive
half of all diagnoses occur at the
disease, so the level of care
moderate stage of the disease), and
required increases over time,
“The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are often confused with general ageing, so it is important to recognise them”
Interactive tool: Alzheimer’s Symptom Checklist.
Real-life testimonial: The Mahon Family, Wexford, on “Caring for mum”. Interactive tools: Helping hands calendar; plus Top 10 ways to reduce stress.
Real-life testimonial: The McKeown Family, Dublin, on “Caring for dad”. Interactive tool: Top 10 ways to start financial planning.