While his wife, Norma, had been showing signs of memory loss for a few years, it wasn't until 2002 that Ralph Conte started to have suspicions that she may have Alzheimer's. After she was diagnosed, he cared for her for seven years before she moved to an assisted living facility called The Bluffs.
Conte, now 93, had a very difficult time caring for his wife full-time while also tending to the home and running errands.
"Life as a caregiver [is] pretty tough.
You're learning how to do things... then taking care of yourself and taking care of the house and making sure everything is in good shape. Every day you realize something new [has] to be taken care of," he told the news provider.
He eventually sought relief at a caregiving support group, which gave him the information and comfort that he needed. When Norma moved to The Bluffs, he visited her once or twice every day.
Conte advises other caregivers to also look for support, as there may be people who can support and help them with their responsibilities.
The Alzheimer's Associate estimates that 5.3 million Americans currently suffer from the condition and experts predict that number to rapidly grow as the population ages.