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Caring for the caregiver: Redefining the definition of patient
Date:11/10/2008

inpatient facilities.

"While we've long known that Alzheimer's is a devastating disease to the patient, this study offers a look at how it also impacts the caregiver's health. If we don't offer help and support to the caregiver, too, the stress of caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming, both mentally and physically," said Cathy C. Schubert, M.D., IU School of Medicine assistant professor of clinical medicine.

Approximately four million older adults in the United States have Alzheimer's disease and three million of them live in the community, often cared for by family members. This number is growing rapidly and by 2050 it is estimated that there will be 18.5 million cases of Alzheimer's dementia in the United States.

"For American society to respond to the growing epidemic of Alzheimer's disease, the health-care system needs to rethink the definition of patient. These findings alert health-care delivery planners that they need to restructure the health-care system to accommodate our new inclusive definition of patient," said Dr. Boustani.

Dr. Boustani directs the Healthy Aging Brain Center. Using the findings of this study, the center is leading the nation in expanding the definition of patient to include the individual with Alzheimer's disease and family caregivers and to provide care to both. The Healthy Aging Brain Center is part of the IU Center for Senior Health at Wishard Health Services.


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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