Rising Diagnoses Will Bankrupt Families
A new report from Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts that by 2050, 110 million people worldwide with have Alzheimer’s, up from 35 million today. The burden of caring for victims falls heavily on ill-prepared families, CNN reports.
“When Jim was diagnosed,” CNN reported that his wife, Karen Garner, “was a ‘woman on fire,’ talking about Alzheimer’s all the time, asking Jim about his bucket list, encouraging him to write letters and tape videos for their kids. But as time, and his disease, progress, her life has become a day-to-day struggle to live peacefully in the moment.”
Jim was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at 48.
“It would be a little bit easier if he would just decline quickly and get it over with,” Karen Garner told CNN. “But unfortunately, Alzheimer’s doesn’t work that way.”
“Because of the progressive nature of the disease and the length of its duration, Alzheimer’s care needs only escalate, often to the point of impacting the caregiver’s own health,” Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, said in a statement.
“The Alzheimer’s Association urges families to pursue early diagnosis and create a care management plan, ideally when the person diagnosed can still participate, so that everyone can plan for the future and take advantage of available resources.”
The Alzheimer’s Disease International offers information on Alzheimer’s, support and resources.