by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
As I’ve said before, you just can’t talk or write about seniors and aging for long without the subject of Alzheimer’s Dementia entering the conversation. Alzheimer’s has become increasingly prevalent for readily apparent reasons. First, we know much more about this disease now than we did 20-years ago, so the diagnosis is more prevalent. Second, and most obvious, is the age wave. Our countries largest cohort by age , the baby boomers, have reached retirement age.
Just as baby boomers have significantly impacted every aspect of culture as they have aged, now they are bumping up the numbers of people impacted by Alzheimer’s Dementia along with all other aging-related chronic diseases. In fact, it is possible that one societal outcome from the ‘boomer’ age-wave will be longer overall lifespans. This could come about from the increasing demand being advocated by baby boomers for research into aging-related diseases such as Dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.
In March the Alzheimer’s Association released their “2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures”. The results concur with the upward trend we’d anticipate based on the increasing number of people in the typically effected age group. According the the Alzheimer’s Association:
- Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease in 2050.
- Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia’s is estimated to total $203 billion in 2013, increasing to $1.2 trillion(in today’s dollars) by mid-century.”
Experts have reached general consensus that Alzheimer’s progresses in the following ‘measurable’ stages:Stage 1: No impairment Stage 2: Very mild decline Stage 3: Mild Decline Stage 4: Moderate decline Stage 5: Moderately severe decline Stage 6: Severe Decline Stage 7: Very severe decline
In the past, families have been quick to place a loved one in a nursing home. Now seniors want to stay at home for as long as possible. It is not unusual for family caregivers with the support of professional (agency-supported) caregivers, to provide assistance to Alzheimer Dementia patients in the home all the way through Stage 6 of the disease.
Download this ALZ Fact Sheet OH 2013 provided by the Alzheimer’s Association and take a look at the statistics for Ohio. You will see just how this dreaded disease is advancing and what the projections are going forward. Make sure to read my previous posts regarding Alzheimer’s Dementia.