Thursday, December 10, 2015
DEMENTIA PATIENTS Blogger:Being Sane Takes Too Much Work
According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 15 million family and friends are caregivers to people with dementia. Most of the caregivers say they experience very high levels of emotional stress. Someone with dementia disease can require help for years. This makes the challenges faced by these caregivers very different from the average ones. There is an emotional toll because someone you love is not only loosing their memory but their personality, their sense of humor and their ability to care for themselves. The caregiver is watching their loved one loose all of the things that make them who they are. The costs for treating dementia are rising. One study found that by 2050, $1 out of every $3 Medicare spends will go to dementia. The overall cost will exceed $1 trillion. While waiting for a cure to this disease, we need ways to slow the progress of dementia after it has begun. There is some evidence that people can reduce their risk of cognitive impairments by adopting certain life-long habits that promote good health. Examples are: get regular exercise, eat right, reduce stress, stay socially engaged and continue to learn throughout their lives. Much more is needed to improve care for people living with dementia. More specialized training for health aides can improve care and lower costs. With the number of cases of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias increasing sharply, we cannot afford to stay on this course. This will take a devasting toll on individuals, families and the entire health care system.