Perhaps you are one of the lucky few that actually have not been personally or closely impacted by dementia. Well, have you ever heard of “6 degrees of separation”? More accurately it is probably 3 degrees of separation between you and someone either caring for a person with dementia (PWD) or someone who has dementia.
Did You Know?
Did you know that in the United States that someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds? As staggering as that number is, it does not account for all the other types of dementia such as vascular dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s related dementia and frontotemporal dementia just to name a few.
Until you are face to face with the challenges of this disease, you cannot imagine what is involved with not only meeting the day to day physical and emotional needs but also the financial needs. Too often families are faced with the overwhelming financial burden required to care for a PWD .
Literally overnight you can find yourself in a situation where you must access financial resources to provide the appropriate level of care for your loved one (or yourself).Did you know that not only is dementia the 6th leading cause of death in the US, it is the only disease within the top ten causes of death in the US that not only does not have prevention or a cure. The number of deaths related to Alzheimer’s exceeds those of both breast and prostate cancer COMBINED!
So I ask this, how is it that we are not making progress in the development of a prevention or cure for this ravaging disease? My answer is this – I think that until it becomes REAL for an individual, the amount of time dedicated to the thought about it is minimal. No nights of lost sleep. No frustration due to lack of resources. No fear caused by wondering if this could happen to me too.
So when I say “make it personal…because it is” just know that we all MUST be proactive with taking steps to reduce our risk of developing dementia as well as preparing financially just in case we find ourselves as one of the ones being diagnosed every 65 seconds.
Ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia:- Be physically and cognitively active. Get up and move. Be social. Engage in thought provoking conversations.- Be mindful of what you eat. Limit sweets. Have healthy, well-balanced meals. Consider eating organic when possible.
– Get adequate sleep. – Limit alcohol consumption.- Consider purchasing Long Term Care insurance.
Until we find a cure, we all must make noise until we are heard. We can achieve the impossible when there is research to find answers, funds to support research and a society accepting nothing less!