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Journalism Paper

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For three years now, sisters Gwen and Janet Christian have been taking care of their mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

When asking Gwen, 52, how has dealing with someone who has Alzheimer's impacted her life, she said, "plain and simple, you have none."

With more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer's, Gwen is not alone in feeling like she has no life.

The majority of the caregivers for people with this disease are family members, primarily the children of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Because of the limited knowledge of Alzheimer's, people are not aware of amount of burden this disease can cause on one's life.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 80% of Alzheimer caregivers report that they often experience high levels of stress, and nearly half say they suffer from depression.

For an adult child who cares for a parent with Alzheimer's, taking on the role of a caregiver can be a difficult transition.

When asking Janet, 54, how has the role reversal impacted her, she said, "seeing someone who is very independent to someone who is very dependent is the most extreme, I never would have imagined that I would see my mother lose all of her independence".

Not only do caregivers have to deal with overwhelming stress in taking care of someone with Alzheimer's, a financial burden can be placed on them as well.

"We've applied for all types of assistance, particularly Social Services and she has not been approved for any" stated Gwen.

The annual cost of Alzheimer's



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