When Youth Is Shadowed By Alzheimer's

Ten million baby boomers are expected to develop Alzheimer's disease. That's one out of eight. And they're not the only victims. Two hundred and fifty thousand children, ages 8 to 18, are helping to care for loved ones with Alzheimer's.

Every step of Lindsey Jordan's childhood has been overshadowed by her father's Alzheimer's disease, CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes reports.

She's 14 now, but was just 8 years old when her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

"She's just everything to me right now, forever, forever," said her father, Charles Jordan.

Diagnosed at 51, Jordan was cared for at home by Lindsey and her mom, Darlene.

"We had to do everything: get him in the shower, get him dressed, cook his meals put his seat belt on in the car," Lindsey said. "It's really hard but we had to do it cause he's our family."

They are an increasingly typical family. Due to successful treatments for other diseases, we're all living longer - putting us at a greater risk for Alzheimer's.

By 2010, there will be about half a million new cases of Alzheimer's each year - almost a million by 2050.

Women are almost twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer's disease. One in six who live beyond 55 years old can expect to get it.

"Women really are sort of hit with a double whammy here because they're living longer, they're more likely to develop the disease but they're also more likely to be a caregiver," said Stephen McConnell, the Alzheimer's Association's vice president of public policy and advocacy.

Care-giving can be so stressful one study found the chronic effects can take four to eight years off the life of the caregiver.

When Darlene and Lindsey could no longer provide for Charles a year ago, they found the best care center was an hour's drive from home.

They visit several times a week, though they're not sure if Charles even recognizes them anymore.

"My husband's memory lives through Lindsey and all good that you see through Lindsey is because of my husband. And that's his legacy," Darlene said.

For now, they hope for the occasional good day and cherish the memory of better times.