04/13/2020- Spending too many days home alone can be taxing on those in generally good health condition, but for people suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers, this extended isolation brings additional challenges and concerns. In an effort to ease some of this, the Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin Chapter has moved their support groups and educational courses to new digital platforms, allowing people impacted by these diseases a chance to stay connected with important resources. Kate Kahles is a Program Manager with the Alzheimer’s Association and says it’s a transition they initiated even before the Governor’s Safer at Home order took effect and will temporarily replace some of the local monthly programs offered by the Association in Niagara, Crivitz, and Marinette.
Social isolation can exacerbate Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms- making those symptoms seem worse or as though they’re progressing more quickly. Kahles says there are a few things caregivers can do to pass the time and help avoid a more rapid decline.
Kahles says men over the age of 65 have about a 10% chance of being affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia while women of the same age have a 20% chance. That figure jumps to at least one in every three people for those over the age of 85.