Living Alone with Alzheimer's Tough Choice for All

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Elaine Vlieger is making some concessions to Alzheimer's. She's cut back on driving.

Frozen dinners now replace elaborate cooking. A son monitors her finances. But the Colorado woman lives alone and isn't ready to give up her house or independence.

Some 800,000 people with Alzheimer's, roughly 1 in 7 Americans with the disease, live alone in their communities.

That's according to new data from the Alzheimer's Association.

It's a different picture than the one of constant caregiving these people eventually will need.

Many like Vlieger cope on their own during dementia's earlier stages with support from family and friends.

But living alone with a disease that gradually strips people of the ability to know when they need help brings special safety concerns, and loved ones agonize over when to intervene.

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