Here is a noteworthy post from TIME.com’s “Healthland” section: this one on Alzheimer’s Disease and California First Lady Maria Shriver’s report (The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s), which shows that Alzheimer’s is largely a woman’s problem. According to the TIME piece, two-thirds of those suffering from Alzheimer’s are women. Add to that the immense number of women who are caretakers of Alzheimer’s patients, and your grand total of American women affected by the disease: 10 million.
This other article on Alzheimer’s from TIME last week says that experts estimate that a 65-year-old has a 10 percent chance of developing the disease. That’s a pretty alarming statistic, especially given the “78 million baby boomers reaching peak age for diagnosis in the next few years.” Not only is that a lot of people who will be affected by the disease physically and emotionally, but Alzheimer’s is poised to burden our health care system financially.
The Shriver Report pays a particular focus to unpaid caregivers – who are usually family members – of Alzheimer’s patients, point out that in addition to just dealing with the stress of caring for a loved one, their own health and health care costs tend to rise due to that stress.
It’s a topic worth engaging in. Is your family affected by Alzheimer’s disease? Are you a caregiver for a patient? You’re definitely not alone.
Join or Renew With AARP for Just $16 a Year
- Discounts on travel and everyday savings
- Subscription to AARP The Magazine
- A voice in Washington and in your community
- Free membership for your spouse or partner