Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementia

Caregivers

Caregivers are family members, extended family, domestic partners, friends or other individuals who directly care for an individual with Alzheimer´s disease and other dementia (AD/D) without monetary compensation. They are also identified as Informal Caregivers. Caregivers may provide full or part-time help for an individual with AD/D, and are tasked with a wide range of responsibilities including, but not limited to:

  • assisting with activities of daily living
  • advocacy
  • managing physical and behavioral symptoms
  • caring for other family members
  • identifying support services
  • paying for services
  • providing total care for the person with AD/D.

In 2020, New York caregivers provided approximately 774 million hours of unpaid care that is valued at a total of $14.6 billion.

The Impacts of Caregiving

The demands of caregiving for an individual with Alzheimer´s disease and other dementias (AD/D) can limit a caregiver´s ability to appropriately care of themselves. Caring for individuals with AD/D, especially in the later stages of the disease, can be extremely demanding. The chronic stressors of caregiving often affect the caregiver´s financial stability, physical health, and emotional well-being. As a result, caregivers are at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and poorer quality of life than caregivers of people with other conditions.

For more information on the Impacts of Caregiving, refer to the National Institute of Health Issues in Dementia Caregiving: Effects on Mental and Physical Health, Intervention Strategies, and Research Needs document and the Alzheimer´s Association "Caregiver Stress" web page.

Supports and Resources Available for Caregivers

There are many approaches to caring for someone living with Alzheimer´s disease or other dementias. Handling these duties is hard work, but resources and support are available to help you. It is important to take care of your own physical and mental health as well as manage a wide range of tasks. Research shows that caregivers who access support activities regularly are healthier and better able to provide care.

Caregiver resources in New York State can be found at Where Can I Get Help? and Additional Resources.