Americans Rank Alzheimer’s as Most Feared Disease, According to New Marist Poll for Home Instead Senior Care

Free Alzheimer’s Training Available in all 50 States to Support Family Caregivers

OMAHA, Neb.--()--Home Instead Senior Care®, the world’s leading provider of home care services for seniors, today announced new survey results revealing that Americans fear developing Alzheimer’s disease more than any other major life-threatening disease, including cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

The Marist Institute for Public Opinion survey of more than 1,200 Americans was designed to gain perspective on the most pressing concerns associated with Alzheimer’s, including diagnosis and the difficulties of caring for a loved one with the disease.

“The survey confirmed what our franchise owners had been hearing from their clients and their families – the majority of Americans feel unprepared to care for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” said Jeff Huber, president and chief operating officer of Home Instead, Inc. “The need for support and education for these families is critical.”

Additional survey highlights include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) have had a personal experience with someone with Alzheimer’s and/or a serious memory loss problem.
  • 61 percent of Americans feel unprepared to care for a loved one diagnosed with the disease.
  • If diagnosed with the disease, Americans most fear the inability to care for oneself, and burdening others (68 percent); followed by losing memory of life and loved ones (32 percent).
  • A plurality of Americans – 44 percent – cite the illness as their most feared disease compared to 33 percent who cite cancer.
  • More than other generations, a majority of Americans over 65 years of age (the silent/greatest generation) – 56 percent – fear an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
  • When asked if it would be harder to receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or care for someone with the disease, Americans are equally split down the middle, 50/50.

Home Instead Senior Care Offers a Solution for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

In response to the realities and concerns associated with Alzheimer’s and in support of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, local Home Instead Senior Care offices are offering more than 600 free, in-person Alzheimer’s CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and EducationSM training sessions to family caregivers in all 50 states during the months of November and December.

“In just one month, the Home Instead Alzheimer’s CARE program will provide free counsel, support and instruction to thousands people across the U.S.,” added Huber. “We hope that by reaching such a wide audience, more caregivers will be equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to face the everyday challenges of the disease.”

The Alzheimer’s CARE program is a first-of-its-kind Alzheimer’s training addressing the current and future health needs by offering family members a fresh approach to Alzheimer’s care. The approach encourages mental engagement to help relatives remain safely at home and in familiar surroundings as long as possible, and family members learn to immerse themselves in the mindsets of their loved ones to help manage various behavioral symptoms. Courses are available in person and online.

“The estimated 15 million Americans caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s are desperate for support and concerned about the care they are providing,” said Dr. Amy D’Aprix, aging care expert and a developer of the Home Instead Senior Care Alzheimer’s CARE training. “This training will help them cope with daily challenges and prepare them to manage difficult behaviors.”

The Alzheimer’s CARE program is available at no cost online, or through in-person training sessions in select U.S. cities. For more information on the program or to find a course, call 888-692-5129 or visit


The Home Instead Senior Care/Marist Alzheimer’s Poll surveyed 1,247 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. Live interviewers conducted the survey with landline households and cell phone users from Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2012. MOE is +/- 2.8 percentage points. Note, the survey sample size was lower for questions pertaining to direct experience with Alzheimer’s disease personally and/or through a family member or friend.
*Reduced survey sample size of 280 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who know someone with Alzheimer’s Disease and are involved with their care with MOE of +/-5.9 percentage points.


Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's leading provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 950 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. Local Home Instead Senior Care franchise offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, CAREGivers are trained in the network’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and EducationSM Program to work with seniors who suffer from these conditions. This world class curriculum also is available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.


Home Instead, Inc.
Dan Wieberg, 888-484-5759


Home Instead, Inc.
Dan Wieberg, 888-484-5759