Alzheimer’s destroys connections.
Alzheimer’s is a disease, not a normal part of aging. The disease often develops slowly, but it always gets worse, never better, and there is no cure.
For the person who has Alzheimer’s, the disease destroys connections with their own memories and their connections with other people.
In the United States alone, almost 6 million people are living with Alzheimer’s. The risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias increases with age.
Percentage of the U.S. population living with Alzheimer’s:
The baby-boom generation has now reached the age of 65 and older, and this segment of the population is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. By 2030, the 65 and older segment will make up more than 20 percent of the total population, up from 16 percent in 2020.
Current projections forecast the number of people age 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s to reach 13.8 million by 2050.
Too often, the disease also destroys connections between people caring for the person who has Alzheimer’s. The journey challenges the entire family, because it is distressing to watch your loved one slowly decline. Caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s gets progressively harder and can last for many years.
Sadly, many primary family caregivers get so worn out that they die even before the loved one who has Alzheimer’s. Other caregivers survive, but fail to thrive. Family members and friends stop visiting, eventually drifting apart. Celebrations cease.
Caregivers who get training and support experience lower stress and better health, and in turn are better equipped to care for their loved ones.
By working together, we can create joy-filled connections for the Alzheimer’s journey.
•Family Caregiver Alliance (https://www.caregiver.org/alzheimers-disease-caregiving)
•2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures (https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/alzheimers-facts-and-figures.pdf)
Trish with her sister, Mary, in 2017
Celebrating her 80th birthday in 2019, Trish with four of her grandchildren (Jimmy, Libby, Eileen, and Andrew) and Tater Tot
Trish opening a Christmas present in 2013
Trish at her 70th birthday party in 2009 with her sister-in-law Marian
A visit in early 2019 from Trish’s son Paul, taking an opportunity between flights to stop in and see his mom