The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions in this country and around the world. This pandemic also presents additional challenges for more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. I am personally aware of these challenges through my own family, having watched my grandfather serve as the primary caregiver for my grandmother for over ten years. My grandmother requires round-the-clock care, such as assistance feeding herself to diaper changes, which can be incredibly taxing on her husband and caregiver even when he has assistance.
In order to promote social distancing to help flatten the curve, my grandfather has been without any form of respite since the pandemic began. As a family, we have been unable to visit and provide him with a respite in fear that we would risk spreading the virus to my grandparents, who both are immunocompromised.
As our nation’s policymakers, including my congressman Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05), continue their work to support our nation’s most vulnerable during this pandemic, I am thankful for groups like the Alzheimer’s Association for their continued support.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 helpline staffed with live masters-level clinicians, available in more than 300 dialects, continues to provide support for those in need at 800.272.3900. To learn more about the resources the Alzheimer’s Association has created for caregivers in this challenging time visit alz.org/covid19.
No one should face Alzheimer’s or dementia alone. Whether through speaking to live experts through the helpline, engaging in education online, or participating in virtual support groups, taking part in the resources offered by the Association can help bridge the isolation may are feeling now. The Association is only a click or call away at https://alz.org/ or 800.272.3900.
To the more than sixteen million family caregivers providing more than 18.6 billion hours of unpaid care to the more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, thank you for all that you do. Please know that no matter what--you are not alone in the face of this disease.