Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Right now, more than 5 million people are living with the disease and one in three older adults will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Family caregivers face an enormous burden. Last year, they provided than 18 billion dollars in unpaid care, sacrificing careers, leisure time, finances, and even cutting back on necessities like food and medical care for themselves and their families. They’re stressed, confused, and often feel helpless to cope. But help is available – in addition to home and community support services and respite care, there’s also dementia coaching.
It’s a relatively new field, that grew out of a need to help people with dementia and their caregivers make the most out of life. Co-producer Liz Seegert recently caught up with dementia coach Kerry Mills, who is a pioneer in developing best care practices for people with dementia.