New survey released on World Alzheimer's Day shows majority of Canadians
unprepared for caregiving role
TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Although Canadians are aware that the
incidence of Alzheimer's is expected to double in the next 15 years1, a vast majority of them have not prepared a homecare contingency plan
in the event that they or a loved one is diagnosed with the disease,
which currently affects more than half a million in Canada.
To mark World Alzheimer's Day (September 21) and the launch of its new
Caregiver Series Guide on Alzheimer's and Dementia, We Care Home Health
Services commissioned a survey to determine Canadians' levels of
awareness surrounding Alzheimer's and dementia as well as their
preparedness to take on a caregiver role. The survey also compared
knowledge amongst Canadians currently acting as a caregiver for a loved
one suffering from Alzheimer's to those that are not.
According to the survey, the vast majority (79 per cent) of
non-caregivers do not have homecare contingency plans in place for
themselves or a loved one in the event of an Alzheimer's or dementia
diagnosis. In contrast those already acting in a caregiver capacity for
a loved one suffering from the disease were more likely to have a plan
with more than half (55 per cent) of current caregivers indicating they
have made plans. When asked if they were aware that the number of
Canadians living with Alzheimer's is expected to more than double in
the next 15 years, almost three quarters (73 per cent) of caregivers
responded "yes" while the number dropped to about half (52 per cent)
"What this survey is telling us is that although Canadians are aware
that the number of Alzheimer's cases is set to double, they are not
proactively preparing themselves or their loved ones," says Linda Lane,
Vice President of Clinical Practice for We Care Home Health Services.
"On World Alzheimer's Day, we wanted to share these figures and launch
our new guide in the hopes that more Canadians will put a plan in place
before they find themselves in the caregiver role."
While Lane stresses the need for all aging Canadians to consider
developing a homecare contingency plan, she also points out that in the
case of Alzheimer's or dementia, the need is especially real for women.
Currently almost three quarters (72 per cent) of Canadians with
Alzheimer's are women - a statistic that the survey revealed was
unknown by 57 per cent of caregivers and 77 per cent of non-caregivers.
While the role of a caregiver can be a rewarding experience, it can also
be physically, emotionally and financially challenging. When current
caregivers were asked what their biggest fear was when they realized
their loved one was showing initial symptoms of Alzheimer's, 25 per
cent feared feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope, and 21 per cent
feared being physically unable to care for their loved one on their
"Obviously the initial diagnosis can be devastating. Our guide is meant
to help caregivers so they are not overwhelmed - especially in the
early stages of the disease when many opt to keep their loved ones in a
familiar home environment," says Lane.
The We Care Caregiver Series Guide on Alzheimer's and Dementia is a
resource for Canadians that may be new to the role of caregiver or
simply looking for additional information on how to manage these
conditions. Along with explaining Alzheimer's and dementia and the
importance of receiving an early diagnosis, the guide also offers tips
for caregivers including coping strategies, communication techniques
and advice on how to reduce stress while managing a loved one's care.
For more information, or to get a free copy of We Care's Caregiver Series Guide on Alzheimer's and Dementia, please call 1-855-699-3227 or visit www.wecare.ca.
About the survey
The survey was completed online between September 13th and September
18th, 2012 with a sample of 793 Canadians using the LegerWeb panel, 250
of whom are currently a caregiver for a person suffering from
Alzheimer's. The margin of error for a representative sample of 250
caregivers is considered accurate within ± 6.2%, 19 times out of 20.
The margin of error for a representative sample 543 non-caregivers is
considered accurate within ± 4.2%, 19 times out of 20.
Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society. (2010).
Alzheimer Society of Canada
About We Care
We Care Home Health Services, a leading national provider of in-home
care and support services with over 50 locations across Canada,
provides professional and compassionate care that allows seniors and
others to live independently in the comfort of their own homes. We
Care employs over 4,000 homecare staff and provides care in over 800
communities across Canada, and has received accreditation through
Accreditation Canada within all the regions in which it operates in.
For more information, call 1-855-699-3227 or visit www.wecare.ca.
SOURCE: We Care Home Health Services
For further information:
Denise Gagnon / Alex Thomas
APEX Public Relations
(416) 934-2102 / 416-934-2101
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