More women diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A new report finds that women carry the bigger burden when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease.

One in Six women. That’s how many will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. One woman who lost her friend to early on-set Alzheimer’s disease says it’s one of the toughest illnesses a person can face.

“I used to go visit her everyday, and she didn’t last long… so you don’t know what you’re going to do, if you’re going to get it, hopefully there is a test out there that you can find out before hand,” said Carol Chenevert of Ware.

Researchers say they’re working on a blood test that can predict with 90% accuracy if someone in their 70s will get Alzheimer’s disease. There are also tell-tale signs.

“When it starts to interfere with daily activities. When you get to the grocery and you forget how to get home. Things don’t feel right,” said Donna McElroy-Routhier of the Jewish Geriatric Services.

Not only are women more likely to be diagnosed but they’re also more likely to take on a full-time role as a caregiver. However, gender aside, one man tells us looking after someone with the disease is a struggle in its own.

My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and it was a challenging few years before she passed away,” said Sheldon Hanson of Springfield. ” You’re wondering why did this person forget what I just told them a minute ago.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with the disease,  your doctor can tell you about services and support groups in your area. Here in western Massachusetts, Jewish Geriatric Services in Longmeadow offers a weekly support group.

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