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Why The Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease Should Not Be Taken Lightly

June 29, 2021

If you’re a Baby Boomer, you may be dealing with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. A new report points out that living with Alzheimer’s goes well beyond memory problems and the number of people in various stages of the disease is expected to skyrocket.

Statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association show that more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. It kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. That’s why Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are expected to cost the nation $355 billion.

So, let’s take a look at the most recent report and why the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease should never be taken lightly.

Alzheimer’s and the Pandemic

The pandemic may have actually accelerated the decline and death of a number of people with Alzheimer’s disease in 2020.

Preliminary reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that there were at least 42,000 more deaths from ­Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2020 compared with the average of the previous five years. This was approximately 16% more than expected, according to a report by the Alzheimer’s Association

Roughly 40% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been residents or staffers of long-term-care facilities, the report states.

Alzheimer’s Numbers Expected To Grow

The report also points out that by 2050, the number of people 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in the United States will increase from 6.2 million to 12.7 million. That’s because the number of people in that age bracket will grow from 58 million to 88 million.

Many people wonder what the difference is between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Dementia is an overall term for a particular group of symptoms. These include:

  • Memory difficulty
  • Language
  • Problem-solving

Symptoms of dementia may also include the deterioration of thinking skills that affect your ability to perform everyday activities.

Dementia has many causes, but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for an estimated 60% to 80% of cases.

What You Can Do

Millions of Americans are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. As the number of people 65 and older living in the United States continues to increase, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will also grow.

There are many factors that can influence your day-to-day cognitive health.  Getting enough sleep tops the list and the foods you eat may have more of an impact than you realize. You can decrease your risk by living a healthy lifestyle. One study even found exercise can improve brain health.

If you are developing Alzheimer’s, there is some indication that families are now better prepared to manage the care you may need. But a solid care plan starts with a conversation with your doctor about your symptoms.

While the work continues to find a way to battle Alzheimer’s Disease, there are other diseases and conditions older adults need to be concerned about. You can learn about them in our guide “The Most Concerning Health Issues for Older Adults.”  

By downloading the guide, you’ll be able to find out which disease affects 25% of all older adults in the United States. You’ll also learn what disease kills an estimated 81% of adults over age 65.

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