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On her shoulders: Report highlights impact of Alzheimer’s on American women

Nearly one in three Americans have a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s. And their caregivers, by and large, are women.

“Women, who are also working, who are also basically running our families, and also are the people who provide the bulk of our volunteer and community service, are the people who are also the caregivers for parents with Alzheimer’s. This issue has an important impact on the fabric of our country,” said Sue Friedman, the president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association of Western Virginia.

The numbers are staggering. A report compiled by Alzheimer’s Association and Maria Shriver’s California Women’s Forum – The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s – puts the number of women in the U.S. providing care for family members with Alzheimer’s at 6.7 million.

Beth Holland of Stuarts Draft is one of the 6.7 million. Her 85-year-old mother has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for six years. She lives in an apartment at the Stuarts Draft Christian Home, but Holland says her mother wants to remain as independent as she can.

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