March 26, 2009
Alzheimer's Disease is getting some much needed media attention!
Alzheimer’s Disease is getting some much needed media attention!
Alzheimer’s is getting HUGE visibility on the national news in the last couple of days as Maria Shriver and other celebrities are speaking out about this disease that claims so many lives and will increasingly do so as the nearly 80 million Baby Boomers are aging!
In my life, I have seen my grandmother slip into this, although I was too young to pay a lot of attention, but I did see my parents deal with caring for her to the point of having to, in the end, take to a nursing home. Then in the past year, I have now been dealing with my mother's struggle with this same disease. My mother is now in a nursing home and I watch her slip away mentally although she has had nearly perfect physical health most all of her life. If I follow their steps in life, the good news is that they had long, healthy lives. The bad news is that this made them susceptible to this mind melting disease, whereas my father, lived a physically healthy life, but a shorter one as he had a fatal heart attach at the age of 72. We do not know if he would have gotten Alzheimer’s disease, as his death was related to smoking, lack of physical activity and being overweight.
The news is raising the awareness, not only of the disease, but of the test that people can take to see if they have any of the two identified genes that cause Alzheimer’s. Currently, there is no cure. This is only a test to see if one is more likely to get the disease. Nearly all the funds that are used for this disease are for the caring of those who are stricken with it. Nursing facilities are bursting at the seams right now with people with Alzheimer’s. We really can’t fathom how hard this will hit our economy and culture of our country over the next few decades as the largest segment of our population, the Baby Boomers, move into their elder years. Research shows that currently, the best preventative measures we can take are to exercise and follow a healthy diet.
For more information on what Alzheimer’s Disease is and the latest news about it, check out this link to the National institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/adfact.htm