Monday, September 21, 2009

Alzheimers increasing even faster than expected worldwide; there is help for seniors to keep driving


Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News, as did many other media outlets, reported on the staggering increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (dementia can be of the “Alzheimer’s type” and not be full-blown) predicted, up to 115 million cases worldwide by 2050. The increase will be worse in the developing world as North America has already experienced some of its peak due to the demographics, and the cost to Medicare and Medicaid in the U.S. will be $20 trillion.

Social conservatives are likely to blame the breakdown on the emotional cohesiveness of the extended family as exacerbating dementia in some elders.

However, the NBC report depicted a college professor getting early Alzheimer’s. People in intellectually demanding lives and with more independence in mid life may be more resistant, but this is unclear, and it may leave others abandoned.

ABC World News Tonight reported on a service that re-educates and tests seniors as to their ability to continue driving, taking some of the psychological or moral responsibility from the caregivers. The World Newser link is here. It's still tacky for a caregiver to unplug a distributor cap.

In the Monday Sept. 21, 2009 issue of The Washington Times, Andrea Billups has a story “Obama Health Care Plan Angers Seniors”, link here, although the main issue seems to be that seniors fear that Medicare will be cut and care will gradually become more rationed (as it is in Britain to some extent).

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