FRIDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Family caregivers' greatest
concerns about the progression of a loved one's Alzheimer's disease
are memory loss (41 percent), personal safety (33 percent) and
confusion (27 percent), finds a new survey.
The poll of 524 caregivers also found that 67 percent named at
least one cognitive (or thinking skills') change in their loved one
as a main concern; 55 percent said caring for a loved one with
Alzheimer's has taken a toll on their own health; and 60 percent
said they felt overwhelmed.
Male caregivers were more concerned about memory loss than women
-- 50 percent versus 37 percent.
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive in September for
drug makers Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc., in partnership with the
Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA).
Among the other findings about issues caregivers face:
- Women were more likely than men to "worry all the time" (13
percent versus 3 percent) and less likely than men to feel that
they have enough support to take care of themselves and their own
needs (60 percent versus 76 percent).
- Women were more likely than men to find it challenging to
maintain relationships with family or friends -- 47 percent versus
- People looking after loved ones with severe Alzheimer's disease
were more likely (84 percent) to say that caregiving frequently
prevents them from doing activities they enjoy, compared to
caregivers of loved ones with moderate (68 percent) or mild (67
percent) Alzheimer's disease.
- Men were more likely than women to be satisfied with
communication with their loved one's health care professional (84
percent versus 70 percent) and more likely to regularly discuss
options for support or information (26 percent versus 14
- Dissatisfaction with a loved one's treatment was expressed by
53 percent of caregivers who had little or no involvement in
discussions with health care providers, compared with 31 percent of
caregivers who were involved.
"These survey results reveal that changes in cognition as the disease progresses were an important concern among caregivers. We encourage caregivers and health care professionals to discuss these changes and any others during regular visits," Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of the AFA, said in a Harris Interactive news release.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about