Alzheimers Disease – The Numbers are Staggering
My family has been effected by Alzheimer’s disease. My grandmother had both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It is extremely hard on the families and loved ones who are affected by these horrible illnesses. To see someone who was once very intelligent and vibrant be reduced to nothing, is unbelievable. As I researched more about the disease, I found the numbers to be staggering.
More than five million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. This is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. This disease kills more of us than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. There could be as many as 16 million people effected by 2015, experts estimate.
Intermediate Care is occasional nursing or rehabilitative care provided for stable conditions that require daily medical assistance on a less frequent basis than skilled nursing care. It is ordered by a physician and skilled medical personnel would deliver or monitor this type of care. Intermediate care could be as simple as giving medication to a group in physical therapy once a day or changing a bandage. It may be carried out in a nursing home, an intermediate-care unit or in the patient’s home.
In 2016 alone, Alzheimer’s and other related dementias have cost America an estimated $236 billion. While that figure is staggering, the real cost to families and caregivers is immeasurable.
Now, I understand why there are so many memory care facilities being built throughout the United States. This is a true epidemic.
In order to find a cure for this terrible disease, we need to start with more public awareness. November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It is also National Caregivers Month.
Organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, which spotlight the latest in research, funding and action have seen many celebrities are getting involved. Dan Gasby and his wife B. Smith have been very vocal for more research and treatments. B. Smith has Early – onset Alzheimers disease. It is extremely sad B. Smith doesn’t know the day, or the month or the year. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease has robbed the former restaurateur, model, author and TV host of such luxuries. But her devastating 2013 diagnosis has created a national platform to address the disease that plagues an estimated 5.5 million Americans.
Dan Gasby was told by Doctors, that the progressive disease in the brain is like potholes in the road, so when neurons go astray when they try to send messages to other parts of the brain, causing behavioral fluctuations. The odds are against her, as two-thirds of people with the disease are women. It is unfortunate, that African Americans are also two times more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The couple co-authored a book “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s” and have partnered with the Brain Health Registry. They said they hope to bring more awareness and incite more funding to a disease that will increasingly be a problem as people are living longer with modern technology and medicine.
Every 66 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. And each of those victims will need an average of three caregivers, so that’s about 40,000 lives changing each week because of Alzheimer’s.
The more we learn about the clinical markers found in people with Alzheimer’s, the greater chances of discovering new treatments to stop or slow those markers. Scientists are always on the hunt for clinical markers that matter. Science Daily reported the discovery of an important new marker called lysozyme, an enzyme that plays a part in immune system health and may play a role in helping to fight Alzheimer’s.
Personally for myself and all the families that are affected, I pray that with awareness, new medicine and research we will someday find a cure to prevent this horrendous epidemic called Alzheimers’ Disease.
"Maddie O’Brian – Elderly Community Today"