There are more than 15 million Americans who provide unpaid care to people who have Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias, according to statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association. It is estimated that in 2016 those caregivers provided 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $230 billion. And those figures are only expected to rise. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s now – and that number could reach 16 million by 2050. In Bemidji, community members have been working in recent years to identify ways through which the greater region could become more “dementia-friendly.” Bemidji in 2014 was selected as one of the sites for ACT on Alzheimer’s, a statewide initiative that aims at better preparing the state for the impacts of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Guests for this episode are Carol Priest, the ACTion Team Coordinator with Northwoods Caregivers, and Tricia Cowan, assistant professor of nursing at Bemidji State University, who has been doing her doctoral research project on Northwoods Caregivers and ACT on Alzheimer’s.
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