A top researcher in the field of Alzheimer's Disease, specifically in the area of caregivers who take care of people with Alzheimer's and related disorders, says the burden of caregiving can make the caregiver ill as well. 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer's, and another 2 million Americans with similar disorders. By 2030, the number of people affected will climb to about 16 million. In Wisconsin there are about 110,000 with Alzheimer's and is expected to climb to 130,000 by 2025.
Ken Hepburn is a professor in the School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta. He also is the Educational Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Hepburn's focus is on caregivers and he says a heavy burden falls on those close to the patient. He spoke with WXPR's Ken Krall..
Hepburn says they've developed a free course for caregivers that is available online. The Savvy Caregiver series is at the Alzheimer's Association website.