The World Alzheimer Report is created and governed by Alzheimer's Disease International. This important research project focuses on dementia and Alzheimer's disease around the world, looking at diagnosis, treatment and senior living communities with specific memory care offerings. As a loved one of someone who has one of these diseases, it's helpful to know that others are dealing with the same trials and tribulations. Plus, staying up to date on new facts about health may prove beneficial. Read on to learn some of the key takeaways from the World Alzheimer Report 2016.
Dementia and doctors
Today, many seniors seek healthcare from doctors who specialize in memory loss. With the growing number of seniors who have dementia, these providers will have a difficult time keeping up with demand. Thankfully, ADI noted primary care services will work together with memory-loss doctors to share tasks while providing the best diagnostic and continuing care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. That means instead of waiting weeks for your friend or family member to see a specialist, he or she can set appointments with a regular physician. That doctor will work with the specialist on establishing a course of treatment and providing assistance as the patient's condition develops.
"The cost of care may decrease 40 percent."
This also means care costs should go down. Seeing a specialist is often more expensive than a trip to a family practitioner, and ADI mentioned the overall cost of memory care services from a doctor stand point may go down up to 40 percent in high income countries like the U.S. This impressive number does not mean worse care, but instead increased efficiency and improved coverage.
The report notes many seniors who have memory loss also have physical needs as well, such as arthritis or a broken hip. Doctors can't just look at the mind, they must help seniors reduce their risk of falling, improve their nutrition and hydration and mitigate the potential for infections. These primary care duties will help individual seniors improve their overall health as well as better the lives of entire generations.
Whether your loved one was just diagnosed with dementia or has had Alzheimer's for several years, you've likely noticed the condition changing. Just like the natural course of aging can't be reversed, neither can these types of memory diseases. Because seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia have constantly changing needs, the healthcare sector must be prepared to change with the individual. That's why it's crucial to look for senior care communities that offer continuum of care, or aging in place. This means that when a healthy senior moves into an independent living facility, he or she has options in the event of a fall (post-surgical stay) or the development of a memory loss disease (memory care). Aging in place can help a senior stay close to friends and family, and reduces the amount of times the person has to move which can be a stressful process for caregivers and seniors.