Every 65 Seconds

Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s Disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.

The Alzheimer’s Association recently released its 2018 report about the prevalence and impact of the disease. The research continues to list Alzheimer’s disease as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and noted that while deaths from heart disease decreased between 2000 and 2015, death from Alzheimer’s rose by 123 percent.

Amid the startling impact of Alzheimer’s is the financial burden both personally and to the country. In 2018, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $277 billion, with the impact potentially surpassing $1 trillion by 2050.

However, as we’ve shared before, early detection may be the best defense we have both for quality of life and financial expense. According to the newly published report, early and accurate diagnosis could save up to $7.9 trillion in medical care and expenses. Additionally, there are a host of physical, mental and emotional benefits to early detection.

“Diagnosing Alzheimer’s earlier has huge cost-savings implications,” said Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association. “Studies show the expenses associated with identification of people with mild cognitive impairment – the earliest stage at which clinical symptoms are present – are lower than those associated with people in the later stage of dementia. In addition, costs are lower once a person with Alzheimer’s gets on the right care path. The disease is better managed, there are fewer complications from other chronic conditions, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided. The sooner the diagnosis occurs, the sooner these costs can be managed and savings can begin.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, you can watch this short video or download the entire report from the Alzheimer’s Association. We share these statistics with you as we work to better serve our families but also to help raise our voice in support of more research and greater funding.

“Discoveries in science mean fewer people are dying at an early age from heart disease, cancer and other diseases,” added Fargo. “Similar scientific breakthroughs are needed for Alzheimer’s disease, and will only be achieved by making it a national health care priority and increasing funding for research that can one day lead to early detection, better treatments and ultimately a cure.”

 

Recognizing the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s – Part 2

 

Welcome back! Today, we’re sharing part two of our two-part series on early detection. In our last post, we focused on some of the less common or more easily overlooked symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Today, we are turning the focus from family to friends.

It’s estimated that one in three people knows a person with Alzheimer’s Disease. So, what should you do if you suspect someone in your life may be experiencing signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia?

Familiarize yourself with the symptoms: As we discussed earlier, forgetfulness is most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, but less common symptoms, such as poor attention, difficulty with word selection, feeling anxious or becoming unaware of mistakes, may also be an indication something is off. Take time to understand the difference between commons changes with aging and the effects of Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association has assembled a helpful guide, which you can find here.

Initiate a conversation: If you choose to talk about your concerns, be sincere. It’s likely that your friend may have their own concerns and are aware of the problem. Understand that they may be worried, scared or frustrated by these changes. However, left unaddressed, you could be jeopardizing their safety or the safety of others.

Show up: Consider new ways to provide support to someone who may be adjusting to a diagnosis. Be flexible and patient with changes to their lifestyle or behavior. Continue engaging in the same activities or find new ones to enjoy together. But, most importantly, remain present in their life.

Be understanding: Support family members and caregivers and respect healthy changes. Often these systems are established to ensure safe, familiar routines that aid in care. Stay calm and try not to take it personally if the person you care about does not remember you, is unkind or gets angry. Remember this is the disease.

“One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” – Jim Rohn