A new report from the Alzheimer’s Association predicts a worsening shortage of family and professional caregivers in the area and across the state as more people are diagnosed, and more caregivers quit. Iowa chapter spokeswoman Lauren Livingston says there’s already a high demand for direct care workers, which includes nurse aides, nursing assistants and home health aides. She says they play a vital role in caring for people who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
She notes the median pay for these workers in Iowa is a little over 14-dollars an hour. Also, many tens of thousands of Iowans are getting -no- pay as they’re caring for a parent or other loved one.
Potential solutions to the looming shortage include getting better training for caregivers so they can better handle the rigors of the job, and mandated higher pay rates. The report says family caregivers in Iowa face significant emotional, physical and health-related challenges as a result of caregiving.
Sixty-percent of Iowa caregivers report having at least one chronic condition, 27% report depression, 59% report high-to-very-high emotional stress due to caregiving, and 38% report high-to-very-high physical stress. According to the report, there are 6.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 66,000 Iowans. See the full report at: alz.org/facts