A new AARP poll on dementia care takes a closer look at the experiences of family caregivers for those with dementia and found more than half say their social life has suffered and nearly 45 percent say they feel alone. In addition, they are more likely to grow further apart from the ones they care for and other family members because of their care giving responsibilities. Both social isolation and loneliness are linked to poorer physical and mental health outcomes.
“Family caregivers take on big responsibilities that can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging. AARP’s new research shows that this can be particularly true for those caring for loved ones with dementia,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “That’s why AARP has developed resources to help family caregivers balance their own needs with the needs of their loved one.”
Not only are the millions of family caregivers for those with dementia less socially connected, they are significantly more likely to put off medical care – over half (55 percent) have done so, compared to just 38 percent among the total caregiver population. However, there were positive health behaviors identified in the poll as well – 79 percent took steps to maintain or improve their brain health and 47 percent exercised more.
AARP helps family caregivers find the information and support they need to manage their own care along with their loved one’s care. Visit www.aarp.org/caregiving for more resources and information on family care giving, including AARP’s Dementia Care Guide and the Community Resource Finder.
To read the full report, click here.