By Kaleah McIlwain
For someone living with dementia, performing everyday tasks like managing money, cooking, or driving presents a challenge. This challenge is lessened with the help of caregivers.
Caregivers provide intensive support to persons with dementia which can be a 24/7 responsibility that they take-on in addition to their own obligations. Caregivers can be spouses, children, parents, or friends who are helping someone they care about, often times with little thought to how it impacts their own emotional and physical health.
Caregivers experience symptoms of depression and anxiety and have feelings of anger, sadness, and frustration. Becoming a caregiver is a great responsibility and it is important to remember that caregivers need to take care of themselves in order to be able to take care of others.
This is what prompted the creation of the National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers last year. The goal of the summit was to discuss research related to dementia patients and their caregivers to identify what they know and do not know in order to accelerate the development, evaluation, and implementation of comprehensive care, services, and supports for people with dementia, their families, and caregivers.