Gary: It’s just really weird – this human condition, that is…one day you feel like a million bucks and the next you feel like you fell into a deep well that’s about to dry up in the drought you didn’t know was coming. That’s how I’ve felt the last few days. I happened to have picked up a book that someone lent to Lisa and I read a story written by a Care Partner on someone more advanced with Alzheimer’s. A portion of the account hit me hard. It described the mental decline of their loved one due to Alzheimer’s and the point where the disease completely took over this individual’s mind and body.
Of course I always knew I would die some day, but I’d hoped it would be something sudden, like the aortic aneurism that killed my mom – she didn’t have time to know what hit her. And of course that could always still happen to me, but my mom was 84 years old and if I live that long I will most likely not know who I am by then unless some miracle Alzheimer’s cure is discovered. Anyway, sorry to be Debbie Downer, but I know depression often comes up in conversations about Alzheimer’s and other Memory Loss, and it can occur to both the Care Partner and the Memory Loss “victim”.
If you want to learn more about Alzheimer’s, here are some facts compiled by the Alzheimer’s Association regarding the disease:
1. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
2. More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease today.
3. 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia.
4. In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at $216 billion.
5. Nearly 15% of caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia are long-distance caregivers.
6. In 2013, Alzheimer’s cost Americans over $203 billion, and that number is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by the year 2050.
Let’s hope and pray that a cure can be discovered before the Baby Boomer Tsunami comes.
Like I’ve said before – I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, so I hope to be a future candidate for medical trials designed to test new medications which may cure or stop the progression of the disease.
P.S. For those who are interested, below is a link to a site that discusses how to tell when memory problems may signal Alzheimer’s or other indications to seek help: