By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says the cost of treating those with dementia will eclipse cancer or heart disease, which doesn’t surprise a local expert who works at the NewCourtland organization.

“It’s a progressive disease and it happens over time as it progresses it can be more debilitating,” Chief Nursing Officer Kathie Brogan said.

Brogan says Cancer patients have the opportunity to experience remission whereas dementia patients do not, and it’s important to remember the toll this takes on the care giver.

“At NewCourtland they come to the adult day care center,” she said. “And the physician is there, the nurse is there the social worker is there. They have activities. But if you are taking care of the person home alone, it’s almost an impossible.”

That’s because you have to keep your eyes on your loved one every minute so they don’t wander away from the house.

Brogan says it’s important for caregivers to reach out for respite care so they can get out and take a break. She says there are many local organizations who can help so don’t be afraid to reach out.

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