LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new report finds that women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared to breast cancer.
The figures from the Alzheimer’s Association showed that a woman’s risk for getting the disease is 1 in 6 versus 1 in 11 for men.
The report also revealed that a quarter of people wrongly believe they’re only at risk for Alzheimer’s if it runs in their family.
“Women are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and they make up 60 to 70 percent of those giving care for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. They almost have a bit of a double whammy,” said Dr. Susan Galeas, the president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter.
“We do know age is the biggest factor, but we’re seeing a lot of younger people developing Alzheimer’s,” Galeas added.
Ashley Bornancin’s mother, Steffie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s eight years ago.
“At 50 years old, she’s doing fine, she’s working, she’s taking care her kids. At 58, she has so much stripped of her mentally and physically. She needs help bathing, eating, putting on her shoes, walking, she can’t talk,” Bornancin said.
Steffie’s husband of 37 years and Bornancin are now her primary caregivers.
“People always ask me if she knows who I am and I honestly don’t know if she knows that I’m her daughter, but she knows I’m one of her primary go to people. When I walk in the room, she changes,” Bornancin said. “Sometimes she’s like, ‘My baby!’ so she knows.”
Bornancin said the family treasures every moment they have with Steffie.
“People focus on all the little bad things in their life and then they meet her, who has been stripped away from so much, and she’s still so joyous, you know?” she said. “I think that’s one of the gifts she brings to this world.”
Bornancin has showcased her mom’s journey in a documentary. For more information, visit Cold Hands, Warm Heart.