Healthcare providers take notice of women’s caregiving role with parents

Local News

The role women play in taking care of ailing parents is getting the attention of healthcare providers. 

Almost a year ago Caroline Tutty’s mother, Barbara Billatti was diagnosed with having Louie Body Dementia. A combination of hallucinating and being prone to Parkinsons. 

Tutty knew something was off with her mother when she was spending large amounts of cash.

“Like in August, she had spent close to almost 700 dollars on buying stuff,” said Tutty. “Just going through and counting up the stuff she had bought.” 
 
The cost to take care of family members diagnosed with dementia is expensive. It doesn’t matter whether its a paid caregivers, unpaid caregivers, or longterm care. Dr. David Gill at Unity Hospital says women who are caregivers need extra support, but often don’t get it. 
 
“Women are expected to work, they are taking care of children, taking care of parents, and unpaid for both and must maintain their work and leaving work is a real problem,” said Gill. 
 
“I have had to leave work on a moments notice to go to my mom’s place,” says Tutty. “It’s very stressful.”
 
Dr. Gill says, with the growing number of patients with dementia, costs are likely to increase, and eventually someone will have to pick up the cost. 
 
“It’s very expensive, so it’s our challenge,” We don’t have a lot of answers right now of what’s the best approach. To provide the support to the caregivers so they are cared for and can provide care to the patients.”
 
Tutty knows that memory loss is irreversible. She fears the day will come when her mother won’t know her, but for now, she cherishes every moment. 
 
There are currently 5 million people in the US diagnosed with having dementia. By 2030, that number is expected to rise to 8 million. 
 

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