This month is World Alzheimer’s Month.
Do you have a loved one or know of someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s? It is more widespread than you might think.
Here are the current statistics from Alzheimer’s Disease International as of 2017:
- Worldwide, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or related dementia. (Alzheimer’s Disease International) (1)
- Only 1 in 4 people with Alzheimer’s disease have been diagnosed. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)
- Alzheimer’s and dementia are most common in Western Europe (North America is close behind).
- Alzheimer’s is least prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)
- Alzheimer’s and other dementias are the top cause of disabilities in later life. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)
This disease not only steals the personality of the person it distresses, it causes emotional anguish and extreme fatigue for caregivers.
Consider these Statistics:
- More than 40% of family caregivers report high or very high emotional stress
- 74% of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s are very concerned for their own health since becoming caregivers
- As many as 1 in 6 caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s quit their jobs because caring for their loved ones is a full-time job. [This causes added financial strain.]
- Approximately ¼ of caregivers are looking after someone with Alzheimer’s and a child or grandchild. (2)
It is a difficult position to be in. Shoulder to shoulder with this is the fact that the person with Alzheimer’s often doesn’t think anything is wrong with them. They may get verbally or physically abusive when you attempt to redirect them.
Who Has A Higher Probability of Getting Alzheimer’s?
- 2 in 3 people with Alzheimer’s are women.
- African and Hispanic Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than Caucasian Americans. (3)
Here are 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure.
- Confusion with time or place.
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
- New problems with words in either speaking or writing.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
- Decreased or poor judgment.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities.
- Changes in mood and personality. (4)
You can read the summary of the World Alzheimer’s Report, 2016; Improving health care of people living with dementia, coverage, quality, and costs now and in the future.
The Reports Notes that:
“Dementia is often complicated by frailty and multiple physical morbidities. More must be done to help people with dementia to optimize their physical health, maintain their nutrition and hydration, and reduce their risks of falls, infections, and delirium. The current lack of attention to these issues may be one of the strongest arguments for the greater involvement of primary care in the delivery of dementia care.” (5)
The article states that more work needs to be done as it is forecasted that there will be 131.5 million in 2050 that have Alzheimer’s around the world! (6)
It boggles the mind!
To find support for both the person with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, here is a list of non- profit Alzheimer’s associations around the world.
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How can you help spread awareness this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month? Do you have any knowledge that may be beneficial for our readers? Please share it with us in the comments section below!
– The Wellness Universe
(1), (2), and (3) – https://www.alzheimers.net/resources/alzheimers-statistics/
(4) – https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs
(5) and (6) – https://www.alz.co.uk/research/worldalzheimerreport2016sheet.pdf