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Caring for Family with Alzheimer's

To keep his dad's mind active, Ric plays cards or dominoes with him everyday. & ldquo;It's important because it help builds his confidence, & rdquo; Ric said. & ldquo;Those are things he used to do for me you know when I was a kid and now I'm doing them for him. & rdquo;

Ric is not alone. Of the 90,000 people who have Alzheimer's disease in San Diego County, 70 percent of them are cared for by a loved one. And actually 65 percent of them are looked after by an adult child. Half of those adult child caregivers also hold down full-time jobs.

And anyone familiar with the disease knows caring for an Alzheimer's patient is backbreaking work. When the patient is in the advanced stages, they can't bathe themselves, brush their teeth or eat on their own. They even need diapers.


And then there is the financial toll. Many of these caregivers plow through their savings, deplete their children's college funds and borrow to finance their loved ones' care. Why? Because they promised their parents they'd never put them in a home.

I was touched by the love Ric shows his father, and in a way, proud to be able to send a story like this to my family in India.