A recent story from Bloomberg News quoted a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta that estimates that 1 in 8 Americans at least 60 years old reported confusion or memory loss in the preceding 12 months. In addition, about one-third of those Americans also said they had functional difficulties including the ability to work or do household chores.
One of the troubling findings of the report was that only 19 percent of the people with memory loss or confusion discussed their problems with a health-care provider. This is significant because it indicates that it delays recognition of early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and the number may triple by 2050, according to the National Institutes of Health. With as many as two-thirds of all cases of dementia going undiagnosed.
Caregivers or family members are encouraged to look for signs of confusion and memory loss and engage a loved one’s healthcare team if you suspect that they may be exhibiting early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Discussions about symptoms and possible causes of cognitive decline “enables individuals and family members to better anticipate needs and plan for the future,” the CDC said in a statement accompanying the report.
If you are a caregiver or family member trying to balance care of a family member with Alzheimer’s and making it through each day’s normal activities, contact Assisting Hands and let us discuss an in-home Alzheimer’s care program. We can help relieve some of the stress that comes with Alzheimer’s care.
Richard Ueberfluss, PT