My daughter-in-law started this disease when she was 47 yrs. We have had all kinds of tests done. She also had a hysterectomy around that time. She takes thyroid medicine. There is no help for her because she is not a senior. She is 53 now. My son needs help but cannot afford it. What can he do? He is so tired, he does everything for her, but she does not let him sleep he is exhausted and he has to work. Please help me find some help for him.
I’m so sorry that your family has faced this tough situation. Your daughter-in-law’s younger onset Alzheimer’s disease presents many challenges. You are right to note that many of our services are aimed at older persons.
Here are a few thoughts.
Be sure to take advantage of any available benefits. In the US your daughter in law would be eligible for Social Security disability income and this can open the door to other services.
I would contact your local Alzheimer’s society or association to see what services they may be able to provide you and your family, now and in the future. For example, Medicaid does cover skilled nursing care for lower-income persons. The Association may also have support groups and educational programs that can help the whole family.
Your son will ultimately have to make his own decisions regarding her care and his role as a care partner. It’s important for you to encourage him to not wait and wait to use services (e.g., adult day center care or in-home care). Meanwhile you and other family members can hopefully help by giving him a break from time-to-time.
Finally you may want to check to see if there is a university-affiliated memory disorder clinic near you. They may be very interested in evaluating and following her since she is so young. Having a good medical team behind you help you all travel the journey and potentially allow your son to opt for some research studies that could help his wife or others in the future.
Thanks for writing in.