Last week, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor shared personal testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Aging about the burden of Alzheimer’s disease. O’Connor stepped down from the court in 2006 to care for her husband, who has the disease. As many people know, Alzheimer’s is an overwhelming disease-both on a personal level for families and for society.
This post was written by Valerie Hagan, former Health Programs Coordinator at the Alliance.
About 10 million
of the almost 45 million caregivers in the United States care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Most of these caregivers are not prepared for their new role, which takes a toll on their mental and physical health. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s disease is often called a “family disease,” because the daily stress of watching a loved one slowly decline affects the whole family.
Earlier this week, Gallup
released the first data from their collaborative Well-Being Index
—a Dow Jones type measure of the daily health and well-being of American adults. Polling 1,000 Americans every day for the next 25 years, the Index will be the largest data collection ever assembled on the health and well-being of large populations.