June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
Dementia is a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease is most common of the fifteen types and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. 5.7 million people are currently living with this disease process, by 2050 that number will rise to 14 million. In Iowa, 64,000 persons’ age 65-85 years have or will develop dementia in 2018, by the year 2025 that count will rise to 73,000. Alzheimer's is a type of progressive dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time. The brain is damaged by the disease process which destroys brain cells. Ultimately, Alzheimer's is fatal (sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.) and currently, there is no cure. Those with Alzheimer's live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions. Research conducted has proven effective treatments to decrease the disease from progressing, and temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer's. Medications for memory loss and treatments for behaviors and sleep deprivation are common. Research continues worldwide to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing. What can you do? Get involved with your local nursing homes, learn how to help care for the dementia resident. Volunteer or take a class, help is needed! In 2018 the disease is expected to cost the nation an estimated $277 billion dollars, with an expected rise to $1.1 Trillion! Caregivers are expected to spend 18.4 billion hours with residents experiencing a form of dementia. Get involved with research, if you or a loved one is experiencing early signs, contact the Alzheimer Association for clinical trials.
Contact Kate Landt, Administrative assistant or Lisa Gerleman RN,BSN for details regarding becoming a CNA today!
~Lisa Gerleman, RN, BSN, Interim DON