3:20pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Health and Welfare

Thousands of Alzheimer’s Patients Living Alone

A new report today from the Alzheimer’s Association says more than 11,000 Kentuckians diagnosed with the disease still live alone, and up to half of them have no identifiable caregiver. In Indiana, the number exceeds 17,000. Teri Shirk, president of the association’s Kentucky and southern Indiana chapter,says the numbers are climbing as more people live to be senior citizens, with many having no family members to look after them.

“Also, the cost of nursing home care can be harsh, and lead families to make other decisions,” Shirk said.

Shirk says the lack of caregivers is placing a strain on government and other other programs that try to fill the void.

She says the association has recently drafted a plan to address the challenges facing Alzheimer’s patients and their families. It’s currently open for public comment.