I find the whole issue of the labels very confusing. This is already hard, let’s just call it one thing. What I have learned so far is that no matter what the label, each person exhibits very different behaviors, even with the same diagnosis.
The staff at the Mayo Clinic confirms that dementia isn’t a specific disease. Instead, dementia describes a group of symptoms affecting intellectual and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning. Many causes of dementia symptoms exist. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of a progressive dementia.
According to the Department of Heath and Human Services, of Americans aged 65 and over, 1 in 8 is moderately demented. By 85, 50 percent are moderately demented.
I got a survey from the Alzheimer’s Association yesterday. I wonder why they picked such a specific disease that some report goes undiagnosed until the autopsy? What strikes me is that it trails most of the diseases out there in fundraising, but impacts many more people either with the symptoms or that of the caregivers who help care for someone with some form of dementia (More than 15 million American’s provide unpaid care for someone with Alzheimer’s). Maybe by renaming it to something like Citizens Fighting Dementia would help fuel the research fundraising.
After reading the statistics and talking with so many people who have been impacted by dementia, I hope they figure out how to help better educate and communicate about this condition. In February, the Obama Administration did act to push for more research funding. Will it be enough? Frightened.