Alzheimer's / Dementia

11/10/2023 | By Alzheimer's Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter

If you are a caregiver for someone with dementia, such as that Alzheimer’s disease, you know how difficult that can be. The Alzheimer’s Association empathizes with the difficulties, offering five reasons Alzheimer’s caregiving is challenging along with resources to help.

More than 55 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. And more than 11 million people provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. In honor of those caregivers, November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and Family Caregivers Month.

Caregivers for Alzheimer’s and dementia face unique challenges. Here are 5 reasons why Alzheimer’s caregiving is challenging:

1. Caregiving for someone with memory loss is exceptionally demanding.

  • Alzheimer’s caregivers are often managing multiple conditions, not only memory loss, but:
  • Long-term physical conditions, including gradual loss of mobility
  • Emotional issues
  • Behavioral and personality changes

2. Caregiving tasks are often more intensive and burdensome

A daughter fixes her elderly mother's hair. For article on how Alzheimer's caregiving is challenging.
Violette Peters and her mother Ablyne Winge.
  • Caregivers of people with dementia report providing 27 hours more care per month on average (92 hours versus 65 hours) than caregivers of people without dementia.
  • Among all older adults with dementia, 77% receive assistance with at least one activity of daily living (ADL), such as bathing and dressing, in contrast to only 20% of older adults without dementia.

3. Alzheimer’s caregivers often have to provide care over a longer period of time

  • Average life expectancy following a diagnosis is 4-8 years, but can be as long as 20.
  • During the course of the disease caregiving tasks escalate and become more intensive.

4. Alzheimer’s caregivers report greater stress and personal health problems

  • 59 % of Alzheimer’s caregivers report their emotional stress as high or very high. (Non-Alzheimer’s caregivers – 41 %)
  • 35 % report declining health because of caregiving (Non-Alz caregivers – 19 %)
  • A recent national poll found 27 % of caregivers for people with dementia delayed or did not do things they should for their own health.

5. Impact on Employment

  • 57% reported sometimes needing to go in late or leave early due to care responsibilities,
  • 18% reduced their work hours
  • 9% gave up working entirely.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming, said Lisa Roberts, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter. “However, there is support and resources available including local support groups, education programs and our 24/7 Helpline. No one should face this disease alone and the Alzheimer’s Association is here to help.”

The Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900) is available around the clock, 365 days a year. Through this free service, specialists and master’s-level clinicians offer confidential support and information to people living with dementia, caregivers, families and the public.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, support families and people living with the disease and information on the Alzheimer’s Association, visit

Tips to Help Caregivers Maintain Their Well-Being

This information has been provided by the Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter, highlighting the unique challenges facing Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers and urging caregivers to take care of their own health. As part of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Chapters in North Carolina are offering free education programs and support groups to help all North Carolina caregivers and their families. For a complete list or to register for upcoming programs, visit

Alzheimer's Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter

The Alzheimer’s Association - Eastern North Carolina Chapter serves 51 counties, providing education and support to those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including those living with the disease, caregivers, health care professionals, and families. The organization also advocates for the needs and rights of those facing Alzheimer’s disease and advancing critical research toward treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure. Learn more at