The effects of Alzheimer’s disease hit close to home for many people and remain a global issue effecting over 35.6 million people worldwide. This September, World Alzheimer’s Month focused on global advocacy with researchers in all parts of the world working to help people affected and their families in not only finding a cure, but also a way to help prevent the disease. Although the month is over, these efforts have continued.
As strenuous as Alzheimer’s and other dementias may be on elders and their families, the financial burdens of covering treatments and other medical costs that come along with it can be more exhausting. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, payments for treatment and overall healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s and other dementias will increase from $203 billion in 2013 to $1.2 trillion in 2050. More than half of these payments will come from either middle-income or low-income countries whose citizens face other financial struggles along with the added Alzheimer’s treatment costs.
As these statistics continue to rise, it’s vital that those affected by Alzheimer’s disease be seen as whole people, who are deserving of meaningful lives. The Green House Project has consistently recognized the unique needs of every Elder, including those living with dementia related illnesses. Residents of Green House homes experience a real home setting with smaller groups of 6-12 Elders. This feeling of being at home helps Elders to remember familiar patterns of behavior thus helping to reduce any anxiety or uneasiness they may have. A highly trained staff works alongside elders and caters to their every need. Specially trained with an additional 128 hours of education beyond what’s typically required for the CNA certificate allows the staff to put more emphasis on person-directed dementia care.
Earlier this year, researchers in Sweden were able to detect changes within nerve cells which occur during the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. By discovering this, researchers may be able to fight the disease using new approaches and may possibly be able to create new treatments. More recently, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles found links between different proteins responsible for characteristic plagues and tangles in aging brains which may lead to Alzheimer’s.
It goes without saying that these findings and those of other researchers around the world are due in large part to the donations and funding they receive. On September 21st, the World Alzheimer’s Action Day sought to bring awareness and knowledge to this pressing global issue, emphasizing areas in which both time and monetary donations can help with Alzheimer’s research. There is much that can be done to help with awareness campaigns and the growing need for increased research funding. Whether you wish to help at a local level or play your role in spreading global advocacy, there is plenty of opportunity available. Contact your local Alzheimer’s organization or visit the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: http://www.alzfdn.org/
Alzheimer’s Association: http://www.alz.org/