Internationally, about 50 million individuals worldwide have Alzheimer’s or related dementia with only 1 in 4 having been diagnosed. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the condition is most frequent in Western Europe and least prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the projected increase in global incidence and burden will affect majorly the low and middle-income countries. In the United States, the condition is the 6th leading cause of death. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed down. 1 in 10 Americans who are above the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s condition. Currently, more than 5 million Americans are living with this condition. The statistics also show that every 66 seconds some in America develop some form of Alzheimer’s condition. The proportion of individuals with this condition by age is: above 85 years-38%, 75-84 years, 44%, 56-74 years, 15% and below 65 years are 4%.
I live in Mississippi where Alzheimer’s condition is quite prevalent. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Mississippi records a higher rate of Alzheimer’s mortality than any other state. The mortality rate stands at 45.8%. Between 2017 and 2025, every state in America is expected to see at least a 14% rise in Alzheimer’s cases. Mississippi is majorly inhabited by the African American and Hispanic Americans who according to many studies are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than Caucasian Americans. Between 2000 and 2014, my area reported an 89% increase in the deaths caused by this condition that cannot be cured, prevented or even managed. The disease condition is more prevalent at old age with 1 in 3 seniors dying from some form of dementia in Mississippi.
Many families with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease will choose to care for them at home. This is because home care not only makes the patient remain in familiar surroundings but makes them enjoy their independence. But as the disease progresses, families may seek professional care from caregivers who will offer the patient with total care the patient may need. Nevertheless, these caregivers face a lot of challenges due to the burdensome nature of the job. According to the latest statistics, more than 1 in 6 Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had to quit their initial jobs to entirely become a caregiver since the duties demand their full-time presence and manpower. The job as a caregiver at home is also less paying hence the caregivers do not live a comfortable life. Research also reveals more than 40% of home caregivers report emotional stress and deteriorating health condition as a result of the burdensome of the job.
Useful agencies supporting Alzheimer’s disease
NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) offers information in diagnosis, treatment, patient care, caregiver needs, long term care, research, and clinical trials. They can be contacted via email: email@example.com, phone: 1-800-438-4380 and their website is www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers
Alzheimer’s Association offers information and support services to people with the condition and their caregivers. They have local chapters across the country that offers various kinds of support. The association also funds Alzheimer’s research. They can be contacted via phone: 1-800-272-3900 and their website is www.alz.org
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides critical information on how to care for people with the condition. The organization also provides a list of services to people living with this condition. The organization also offers information to caregivers and their families. They can be contacted via phone: 1-866-3232-8484 and their website is www.alzfdn.org
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