Alzheimer’s and Caregivers
In part one, Schwartz explains the massive financial impact the disease has on caregivers and the country and how that is estimated to grow in the coming years. He says that’s why he believes preventative care is the answer.
“The goal of the research focus is to find this as early as we can,” he says.
While there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, Schwartz goes on to discuss current research and trials that can help diagnose and prevent progression that may ultimately help cut the overall cost in half.
In part two of the special, three Pine Belt families are introduced, whose loved ones are in different stages of Alzheimer’s. These families allow an emotional glimpse into the personal role and burden of being a caregiver for a spouse living with this disease.
“I fight this battle for her as much as I can,” says David Freeman, who works with Hattiesburg Clinic Sports Medicine.
Freeman’s wife, Sarah, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a few years ago and quickly declined. She can no longer care for herself, and Freeman says she’s losing her ability to speak.
The cameras follow Freeman and two other spouses affected by Alzheimer’s in different ways, all of whom have received assistance from disentangleAD, a nonprofit foundation started by Schwartz in 2016. Each caregiver has received a grant from the organization to help with various caregiving needs.
“We started the foundation to raise money so that we could give it out to people, and kind of provide that level of relief. Respite care, home repairs, putting locks on the doors, things that have just been out of reach,” Schwartz says.
Visit the links below to watch the two-part special.