Alzheimer's caregivers give up food, medication, education, report says

Story highlights

  • New survey finds families struggle financially to care for loved ones with Alzheimer's
  • At least 28% of care providers ate less or went hungry, others cut back on their own health care
  • Many families also lose an average of $15,000 a year in wages

(CNN)Since Mike Boggs, 59, began having Alzheimer's-like symptoms two years ago and lost his job, he and his wife Pat, 56, have struggled to make ends meet. Their only income is Pat's job as a third-grade teacher in Sioux City, Iowa.

"Every month we dip into our savings," Pat Boggs told CNN as she started to cry. "The hardest thing was to tell our son Ryan that he couldn't go back to college."
"We make cutbacks every day," added Mike. "I've worn the same pair of shoes for three years. Same coat. We rarely buy clothes. We don't do any home repairs and both of our cars are over 12 years old."