THE SHARE OF AMERICANS with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is expected to more than double by 2060 as people increasingly survive into older adulthood, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An estimated 5 million older adults had Alzheimer’s or a related dementia in 2014, and by 2060 that figure is expected to rise to 13.9 million, or about 3.3 percent of the U.S. population, according to the report, which evaluated health claims data for more than 28 million Medicare beneficiaries.
Alzheimer’s – the fifth-leading cause of death for adults 65 and older and the sixth-leading cause of death for Americans overall – destroys memory and cognitive functioning and poses a greater risk as people age.
IF YOU WERE BORN between 1946 and 1964, you count yourself, of course, as part of the baby boomer generation that is the largest in American history. And boomers age just like everyone else. In March 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that by 2035, adults aged 65 and older will number more than 78 million. By comparison, kids aged 18 and younger are expected to total just 76.4 million, meaning that in short order, the number of seniors in the country will outnumber children for the first time in American history.
As they continue to age, many people need some help in completing the daily tasks of living. Faced with the decision of how to address these needs, thousands are settling on the option of an assisted living facility.
Definitions of assisted living can vary from state to state and facility to facility, but “we generally define it as another long-term care option for folks that generally don’t need 24/7 skilled nursing care, which is what most long-term nursing homes provide,” says Rachel Reeves, director of communications for the National Center for Assisted Living, a non-profit organization representing about 4,000 assisted living facilities across the country. For many people, assisted living means they need help with some aspects of daily living, such bathing, dressing, toileting, eating or transferring to bed at night. “Assisted living really focuses on supporting individuals with those activities, but then also maximizing independence and socialization in a home-like environment,” Reeves says. Currently, the NCAL reports that there are more than 835,000 Americans residing in assisted living facilities.
People living with dementia are frequently under-recognized and under-diagnosed by healthcare providers. Consequently, they do not receive the medical care they need, nor are they connected to essential home- and community-based supports. The federal duals demonstration offers opportunities to better blend funding and oversight for Medicare-funded medical care with Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports, so that people with dementia and their families can get better integrated care. This webinar offers tools and strategies to improve dementia healthcare based on approaches that have been developed within this demonstration model but that also have relevance to other healthcare systems.
California’s presentation focuses on how the state and regional Alzheimer’s organizations partnered with participating health plans serving dual eligible participants to improve detection, care planning and community supports for individuals and family caregivers dealing with diagnosed and-or undiagnosed dementia. The presentation also shares resources developed and lessons learned in implementing this initiative. Texas’ presentation focuses on the Texas Takes on Dementia initiative, and how it builds on the California initiative’s principles and adapts these for the State of Texas. Also included is a discussion of key adaptations, challenges and lessons learned.
A common symptom among people with dementia is agitation, which can affect their and their carers’ well-being. Dementia experts conducted a new study and found the most effective means of addressing agitation.
In a paper that is now published in the journal International Psychogeriatrics, experts from several research institutions — including the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD — express their consensus on the best approaches to manage dementia-related behavioral and psychological symptoms.
More specifically, they speak of how to address states of agitation and psychosis in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Some studies have suggested that drinking alcohol in moderation lowers the risk of dementia, but the evidence may have been prone to certain biases. A new study follows more than 9,000 people over a 23-year period to draw robust conclusions on the link between alcohol consumption and dementia risk.
As the world population grows increasingly older, more and more people are at risk of developing dementia.
In fact, according to recent estimates, almost 50 million people worldwide are currently living with dementia, and this number is expected to double every 2 decades, reaching over 130 million by 2050.
More than 90 percent of people caring for a family member with dementia experience poor sleep, according to new research by the University at Buffalo School of Nursing.
The study found that most participants got less than six hours of sleep each night, accompanied by frequent awakenings as often as four times per hour.
These disruptions can lead to chronic sleep deprivation and place caregivers at risk for depression, weight gain, heart disease and premature death, says lead author Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor in the UB School of Nursing.
People who feel faint, dizzy or lightheaded when standing up may be experiencing a sudden drop in blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension. Now a new study says middle-aged people who experience such a drop may have a greater risk of developing dementia or stroke decades later. The study is published in the July 25, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“Orthostatic hypotension has been linked to heart disease, fainting and falls, so we wanted to conduct a large study to determine if this form of low blood pressure was also linked to problems in the brain, specifically dementia,” said study author Andreea Rawlings, PhD, MS, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md.
For this study, low blood pressure upon standing was defined as a drop of at least 20 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) in systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats, or at least 10 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure, the pressure when the heart is at rest. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg.
WITH A BULLET IN HER gut, her voice choked with pain, Dee Hill pleaded with the 911 dispatcher for help.
“My husband accidentally shot me,” Hill, 75, of The Dalles, Oregon, groaned on the May 16, 2015, call. “In the stomach, and he can’t talk, please …”
Less than four feet away, Hill’s husband, Darrell Hill, a former local police chief and two-term county sheriff, sat in his wheelchair with a discharged Glock handgun on the table in front of him, unaware that he’d nearly killed his wife of almost 57 years.
The 76-year-old lawman had been diagnosed two years earlier with a form of rapidly progressive dementia, a disease that quickly stripped him of reasoning and memory.
You’ve turned 65 and exited middle age. What are the chances you’ll develop cognitive impairment or dementia in the years ahead?
New research about “cognitive life expectancy” — how long older adults live with good versus declining brain health — shows that after age 65 men and women spend more than a dozen years in good cognitive health, on average. And, over the past decade, that time span has been expanding.
By contrast, cognitive challenges arise in a more compressed time frame in later life, with mild cognitive impairment (problems with memory, decision-making or thinking skills) lasting about four years, on average, and dementia (Alzheimer’s disease or other related conditions) occurring over 1½ to two years.
Machine learning has detected one of the commonest causes of dementia and stroke, in the most widely used form of brain scan (CT), more accurately than current methods.
New software, created by scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh, has been able to identify and measure the severity of small vessel disease, one of the commonest causes of stroke and dementia. The study, published in Radiology, took place at Charing Cross Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Researchers say that this technology can help clinicians to administer the best treatment to patients more quickly in emergency settings — and predict a person’s likelihood of developing dementia. The development may also pave the way for more personalised medicine.