The purpose of this blog is to encourage dialogue about issues related to caregivers of alzheimer patients.
I realize that unless this blog has a basic foundation of information worth reading, there is no incentive for readers to return to the site or to feel comfortable putting their stories, emotions, etc. out there.
Charged with this knowledge, I want to recommend the very recent Oct. 25th, 2010 Time Magazine. The cover story is alzheimer's and coincidently, the 25th of October was the day I decided to learn how to create a blog about this timely subject.
Over the course of the next few days, I will comment on some of the material in the article and reflect on its meaning to me. Let's start with the very last page of the article; sometimes its more interesting to see what is not presented up front and to ponder why. So here it is...
Called "The Coping Conundrum", this last article highlights the irony of the life cycle and how we are born only to sometimes return to a type of infancy as the aging process begins to limit our abilities. What follows is a wonderful discussion on Maria Shriver's report A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's. I was struck by the statistic that nearly 10 million women care for or have alzheimer's! This number is expected to triple in the next 40 years. The numbers are staggering! According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 30-40% of the women caring for alzheimer patients suffer from depression! The effects of depression are well documented and include increased risks of hypertension and heart disease, as stated in the article.
Is that alarm bell ringing loud enough now? The projected increase in the number of alzheimer's patients with our aging population, and the associated increased health care costs resulting from this larger group of aging, depressed women make the cost of health care sky rocket in an already over-burdened system.
Two reflections: we need to re-examine how governments may actually save money by improving state funded caregiving in our nation, and we need to bring this issue to the forefront creating awareness and support systems for caregivers.