More than 80,000 people in South Carolina over the age of 65 are currently living with Alzheimer's Disease, and that number is expected to increase to 100,000 by the year 2025.
But sometimes being the caregiver for someone with the disease can be difficult.
Dementia care expert Teepa Snow shared coping strategies with caregivers for Alzheimer's Disease patients today at the Horry Georgetown Technical College campus in Myrtle Beach.
"You're going need to be running a marathon. And if you think about training for a marathon, that's the kind of thing we're talking about. You're going need a team. You're going need a support team, and you're going need to take breaks," Snow said.
She said since there's no cure for the disease, the key is to be prepared for the toll it can take on both the person diagnosed and the caregiver as well.
"Possibly I or my husband or somebody I really care about is going to start showing signs of this disease long before we find the cure. So, how can I help live my life or how can I help him live his, and have a reasonable quality and not get totally stressed out."
Helen DuPont of Myrtle Beach said her husband passed away after struggling with Alzheimer's Disease for 15 years. She said those were the hardest years of her life.
"He'd repeat himself. He'd go out to the mailbox and get halfway out and wonder what he was going for. And then, it got progressively worse where he didn't even know his family," DuPont said.
One way she dealt with the struggle was to join Alzheimer's Disease support groups and talk to people who have been in similar situations. She continues to do that now as well.
"Most of us who've gone through it, we go back and keep in touch so we can help those, make it a little easier for them than what we had," DuPont said.
For more information on Teepa Snow and caring for those with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, please visit www.teepasnow.com.