Caregiving spouses of Alzheimer’s patients put own health at risk

Jackie Hackbart is a caregiver under stress.

She can’t leave her husband, Bob, 82, who suffers from dementia, alone in their Citrus Heights town house – and she can’t leave him with a sitter, because he forgets where she’s gone and gets distressed.

Since the retired chemical engineer’s diagnosis in 2005, dementia has robbed him not only of memory and cognition, but also of independence. In many ways, it’s robbed his wife of her independence, too.

“The past five years have been a challenge,” said Hackbart, 78, a retired dietitian. “Mostly, I try to keep a stiff upper lip.”

But the stiff upper lip exacts a steep toll: Hackbart has been hospitalized twice in the past year for gastrointestinal bleeding, most recently in March.

via Caregiving spouses of Alzheimer’s patients put own health at risk – Sacramento Living – Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee.

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