More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease, which is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death, and over 15 million individuals are providing care to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, often to the detriment of their own health.

Female focus

A closer look reveals the devastating toll that Alzheimer’s takes on women. A recent report showed nearly 13 million women are either living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

"...more than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women."

Nearly two-thirds of Americans living with the disease are women, and more than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women. Because of their caregiving responsibilities, 20 percent of female caregivers went from working full-time to part-time.

Opening doors

Helping women face this alarming epidemic head on are resources like My Brain, which calls on 1 million women to work together to help wipe out Alzheimer’s disease. Online, women can utilize the platform to share why their brains matter and find other ways to get involved through events, clinical studies and awareness-building activities.

The movement has inspired women’s groups to take action and aid in research studies focused on women and Alzheimer’s, as well as investigations led by female researchers, particularly concerning biology and gender issues in Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 

By Beth Kallmyer, MSW, Vice President, Constituent Services, Alzheimer’s Association