The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing and growing fast. In fact, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease in 2050. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $226 billion in 2015 and $1.1 trillion by mid-century.
It is a disease that greatly affects women, partially due to their longevity. At the age 65, women have a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease during the remainder of their lives, compared with a one in 11 chance for men.
Did you know that St. Francis Home has a 10-bed memory care unit to serve the needs of residents with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease? In fact, St. Francis Home has incorporated two new activity programs to help better serve our residents with dementia: The Life Enrichment Program and the Honor the Spirit Program. The Life Enrichment Program provides additional activities and attention to residents during the hours of 3 and 8 p.m., seven days per week. The Honor the Spirit provides sensory experiences every Sunday morning for residents with end stages of dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association provides support and help to caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. They can be contacted by visiting their web site at alz.org or by calling their 24/7 helpline at (800) 272-3900. They can provide resources and information about diagnostic clinics and support groups.