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2 Alzheimer's Caregivers Talk About Challenges They Face

As we near the end of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we thought we’d introduce you to two caregivers who are navigating the challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. 

In 2016, television personality Rick D’Amico announced he was retiring. D’Amico’s wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2017 AARP report, the number of male caregivers has risen. D’Amico says before his wife got sick, she took care of him.

"But now it’s a total reversal where the person who took care of me for 50 years, I’m taking care of her," he said. 

And it’s not always easy.

"I was at a caregiver meeting just on Wednesday. If I had nothing to do but the housework, that would be a tremendous challenge," he said. "In addition to that I’m a caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient and they asked, well, what do you do? Well, you do everything."

Katharine Halpin cares for her wife, Bonnie. A fear they share is being mistreated because they’re LGBT. Halpin says they’ve heard horror stories.

"So, we’ve always carried on a thumb drive our estate planning doc that show I POA for her; she has POA for me. And we still keep those very handy," Halpin said. 

According to SAGE, an LGBT advocacy group, more than half of LGBT care recipients get care from their partners. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.