Sunday, August 15, 2010

Harrisonburg VA (JMU) Alzheimer's Conference notes that 60% of family caregivers do not oulive Alzheimer's patients

The Harrisonburg (VA) Daily-Record has a fortnightly insert called “Seasons Plus” from the “Elder Alliance” and the (Shenandoah) Valley Program for Aging Services. Neither Bing nor Google returned a website for the group. The address for Elder Alliance is given as 411 Stone Springs Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, near James Madison University.

However the print version for August 2010, if you can find it, has some provocative articles. Jeanne K. Russell, Director of Marketing & Community Relations, Home Instead Senior Care, has a column “A Family’s Commitment to Care.” Valda Garber-Weider has a column on the same front page, “Memory Loss Is Not Contagious.” But the most startling piece appears on p 8, by Samantha Jennings (JMU Social Work Intern, Generations Crossing), “Alzheimer’s Symposium Recap,” apparently held at JMU.

The most startling finding was that, with Alzheimer’s patients, 60% of family caregivers “will pass away before their loved ones because they do not take care of themselves.” But Alzheimer’s places demands on caregivers and families that confound or contradict all the usual moral assumptions of an individualistic culture.

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