Image caption: Paola Barbarino, Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)
We at The Arbor Company care deeply about memory care and the fight to end dementia. One of the leading voices in the fight against Alzheimer’s is Alzheimer’s Disease International. We asked them to join us on our blog to share some recent insights. Here is a message from ADI’s CEO, Paola Barbarino:
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 seniors die with some form of dementia. The longer a person lives, the more vulnerable his or her brain becomes to dementia. So the frustrating reality is that a senior who lives a long and healthy life may ultimately need dementia care.
As an older adult, or the loved one of an older adult, it is important to know certain signs and red flags concerning prevalent diseases. For many seniors, dementia is a great concern. Studies show that it is a valid source of anxiety among seniors over the age of 65. According to the Alzheimer’s Association study of 2017, 1 in 10 seniors over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s Disease; the number only increases when other types of dementia are included.
In the popular understanding of dementia, people with dementia can’t safely live alone. They don’t recognize their loved ones and might barely even know themselves. This portrayal is a simplistic picture of a complex collection of diseases. Dementia is a slow and unpredictable illness. It doesn’t always manifest as cognitive issues. For example, the key symptom of a dementia called primary progressive aphasia is a loss of the ability to speak, frontotemporal dementia might manifest as behavioral changes, and Alzheimer’s may progress slowly for many years.
For decades—and even longer—dementia was associated with a diminished quality of life. We now know that is simply not the case: Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can live interesting, interactive, purposeful lives. The activities they enjoy might change because of their condition, but that doesn’t mean they are resigned to boredom, day after day. Here are seven engaging activities for seniors with dementia:
When a loved one has dementia, it can be difficult to know where to begin. For the adult child who receives a distressing diagnosis, or who notices changes in an aging parent, it can be hard to make sense of the sheer volume of new information and options. Fortunately, today's senior living landscape offers a range of options to ensure that Mom or Dad enjoys not just a safe living space but a community rich with possibility.
Life can be stressful. Busy jobs, financial woes, family obligations, the ups and downs of married life, and so much more mean the reality is that few of us make it to old age without facing a heaping pile of stress.
There’s a common misconception that people with dementia can’t maintain meaningful relationships. But 80 percent of people with dementia can effectively communicate, and approximately one-third of them can make important decisions, one study found. The best books on dementia break down barriers and provide helpful strategies to make those types of meaningful engagements possible.