More than 5 million Americans age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults, do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
For Jaclyn Schreiner, a physician assistant with St. Vincent Healthcare’s palliative care team, caring for those with Alzheimer’s is her life’s calling. Growing up with two grandmothers with dementia, she realizes how important personalized care is for patients battling the disease and values opportunities to raise awareness for the cause.
“When I was a child, one of my grandmothers lived with my family and I because she was unable to live alone or take care of herself,” Schreiner said. “It is so important to understand that people suffering from Alzheimer’s just need a little extra help -- some days they have good days and some days they have bad days -- but they’re still people and just might express emotions a little differently. They still want to be loved, just as we do.”
Working in the palliative care field, Schreiner sees first hand how beneficial being a caregiver is and how it can create an impactful experience for the patient. Now, she’s trying to get others involved in this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
“Raising awareness is a key component of providing better resources to people suffering from Alzheimer’s,” mentioned Schreiner. “At St. Vincent Healthcare, we are proud to be a sponsor for the 2020 Virtual Walk to End Alzheimer’s and realize that, together, we can continue advancing care and eventually find a cure.”
This year, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place virtually on Sunday, September 27. Visit alz.org/walk to get involved and help fight against Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia.