Please, remember those who raised you.
Prevalence: number of cases in a given year
- In 2010, more than 500,000 Canadians are living with dementia.
- Of these, approximately 71,000 are under the age of 65.
- 1 in 11 Canadians over 65 has dementia.
- Women account for 72 per cent of all Alzheimer cases, and 62 per cent of all dementia cases.
- Within a generation, the numbers of Canadians living with dementia will more than double to 1.1 million.
Alzheimer – the aging population and the inability to determine when and who this devastating disease may affect will soon cripple the social health system.
Who is going to look after the beloved family members? The health care systems of modern societies are not designed around the aging population. Older Societies learned that as the elders aged, families helped. Occasionally, we see a loving family whom has a grandparent(s) at home. This would be a wonderful experience for the children in that home. However, what about the aging parent who develops dementia. How does one cope and where do you go for help.
I explain Alzheimer’s disease like the life of a 2-year-old in reverse – spread over 10 years. The biggest difference is that the 2 year old hasn’t accomplished anything and is a virtual unknown. They simply haven’t contributed to society. If anything they are the primary users of our social health system. We are forgetting that the Alzheimer patient has contributed to society, paid their dues and in turn doesn’t have a social health system in place to aid them. I would like to help in changing the system. Perhaps through social media and modern technology we can treat this illness.
The spouse of an individual stricken with this disease is another person who is suffering. A young couple who meets, falls in love and raises a family together, watches the children graduate and marry. They become grandparents together and retire from the workforce after serving unselfishly. A slight memory loss oversight or a misjudgment due to age. Soon enough symptoms start becoming more often. Yearly testing turns into Monthly, then Weekly. Eventually, the parents must separate for the first time in 60 years. That is a devastating experience to be apart of.
The 40th President of the United States and his death from Alzheimer’s really brought much-needed attention to the illness. Nancy Reagan was relentless in her care giving for the President. Two important factors resulted from the much publicized event. One, the graduation from Dementia into Alzheimer symptoms. Second, the care givers and the support group willing to help these people. It has been 22 years since his passing and a constant reminder that it is slowly claiming more friends and family ever year.
The Alzheimer Society is formed in most countries around the world and often has regional offices to help those in need. There is no way to explain the issues to anyone other than those who have direct experience with this untimely illness. However, those whom this illness has touched are the best people to discuss the multitude of issues that will arise. Hopefully, we can find the cause.