New support scheme for Alzheimers sufferers and their carers

76% of people in Munster who care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s Disease state that the burden of care resulted in additional strain between them and other members of their family, with 71% of respondents in the province finding it difficult to get commitment from others regarding the sharing of care.

76% of people in Munster who care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s Disease state that the burden of care resulted in additional strain between them and other members of their family, with 71% of respondents in the province finding it difficult to get commitment from others regarding the sharing of care.

These findings were revealed at the launch of www.mypeaceofmind.ie which was developed to provide practical tools and advice for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers.

The website provides guidance from a range of Irish experts including Dr Nina Byrnes, GP, Oakwood Medical Clinic and media medical expert and Jill Kerby, personal finance expert.

Approximately 44,000 people in Ireland are living with some form of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease the most common form accounting for 66% of all cases. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degenerative brain disease that interferes with a person’s memory, judgment and their ability to care for themselves or live independently.

The My Peace of Mind research investigated a range of issues including knowledge and understanding of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as well as the emotional and financial impact associated with caring for someone with the disease. The research revealed that over two-thirds (67%) of all participants were prompted to take their loved one to a doctor by observing one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease; with ‘confusion with time or place’ (78%) as the most common symptom. The research revealed that over half (53%) of all diagnoses occurred at the moderate stage of the disease.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are often confused with general ageing so it is important to recognise the symptoms and organise a GP visit if you are concerned. Early diagnosis is critical not only to ensure the best possible clinical outcome, but so that the person with Alzheimer’s disease is involved in planning their long-term care. There are a range of practical tools available on www.mypeaceofmind.ie including a symptom checklist and information and advice about the disease.

When asked about the financial impact of the disease, 57% of respondents said that their loved one’s illness had impacted on the financial stability of their family, and 34% of people said that the financial burden was the main reason participants had not considered putting their loved one into a home. A startling 75% of respondents said that their loved one did not create an enduring power of attorney that would clearly set out their wishes as the disease progresses.