RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When someone mentions her dad, Lisette Carbajal pictures the head of her family and her big protector. She has not truly seen him in six years.
“It’s been really tough,” she says.
After years of getting disoriented, Carbajal’s dad was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease when she was 20-years-old.
“A time where I was finishing up school and trying to figure out what my next moves were going to be after graduation,” Carbajal remembers. “Really having him there would have been so helpful. There are many moments in life where I wish he would be okay, such as me getting married next year. It’s going to be difficult not having him there.”
According to a new survey from the Alzheimer’s Association, nine out of ten caregivers cite emotional stress as their greatest challenge. Millennials like Carbajal are no exception.
“It’s an awful disease,” she says. “And it’s even harder for someone in their mid 20’s to take care of a loved one.”
However, the survey also found millennials are more likely to see positive aspects of the experience compared to older caregivers. In fact, 85 percent of individuals in the 22 to 37 age group who were questioned say caring for someone with Alzheimer’s strengthened relationships.
Carbajal’s family still sees happy times, despite how sick her dad is now. She encourages more millennials battling Alzheimer’s with a loved one to band together to offer each other support.
“You don’t expect that to happen at such a young age,” she says.
8News is a proud sponsor of the 2017 Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s on November 4, 2017.
It is happening at Innsbrook’s Markel Plaza beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Follow this link for more information and to register.