Installing elderly alert system can help youngest caregivers


November 11, 2010

There is an often overlooked segment of caregivers that aren't adult children or seniors, but children, according to CNN.

Two primary factors have put kids in this situation. Ten percent of Alzheimer's patients begin experiencing symptoms before age 55 and parents are having children later in life. Around 250,000 Americans under the age of 18 are currently taking care of a parent who is suffering from dementia.

One of these young caregivers is Austin Mobley, 16, who has to help his mother, Tracy, with day-to-day tasks like helping her put on shoes and socks in the morning.

Austin's father works night shifts to support the family, leaving much of the caretaking responsibilities to his son. At dinner, Austin cuts her food into easy-to-chew pieces and shows her how to use the household appliances over and over again.

"It's like a baby who'll never learn to walk, but you constantly have to teach them how to do things, but they still forget," he told the news provider.

Families that may be burdened by an individual suffering from Alzheimer's may want to invest in an elderly alert system. This is a device that can allow a patient to immediately send a medical alarm to a caregiver or doctor in the case of an emergency.