Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More men are involved in "hands on" Alzheimer's caregiving, as women outlive them

Janice Lloyd has a story on p 3A of US Today on Aug. 22, “Men take over Alzheimer’s care: Male caregivers step up as the ‘insidious’ disease affects more women in the USA”, titled online bluntly “Men’s role in helping women with Alzheimer’s dementia soars”, link here

The example in the news story portrayed a married couple, both 68.

However, the main reason that Alzheimer’s is becoming a “female” disease is that women tend to live longer.  The news story says that about two-thirds of those over 65 with Alzheimer’s are women.

When I was looking at assisted living facilities with regard to my mother (in late 2009), I was told by an Emeritus assisted living facility that about 70% of the Alzheimer’s residents were women.

Some forms of dementia occur outside of Alzheimer’s pathology, mostly because of vascular problems associated with strokes and heart disease.  Apparently these might affect women more often, as women may live longer with advanced circulatory disease. My own mother died at the end of 2010 at age 97 with vascular-associated dementia, which was mild compared to what sometimes happens. 

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