Alzheimer's Disease sixth leading cause of death
Alzheimers Disease is on the rise
According to the Dallas Morning News in a story published this morning Alzheimers disease has surpassed diabetes and is now the sixth leading cause of death in America. Traci Beeson, Vice President of Alzheimers Association of Greater Dallas, likens the disease to a silver tsunami. Currently, there is no cure and the medications available today to treat the disease are often ineffective.
The cost for families and for the country is staggering. Of our entire health care bill, which was $2.8 trillion in 2011, it is estimated that up to $200 billion was spent to care for 5.2 million Americans with this degenerative brain disease. The cost by 2050, assuming a better treatment option is not found, could exceed $1 trillion.
The cost is especially high for families who have to pay the medical bills and also have to leave work or take extended breaks from work to take care of the affected. It is estimated the cost to family members could be as high as $17.5 billion.
Experts also contend that the costs are not only financial but also physical and emotional. Workers must divvy up their time and take care of their loved ones while struggling to balance an effective home and work life.
Alzheimers Disease progression
One of the main issues with Alzheimers disease is its progressive nature. Although many people may develop the disease as early as 40 years of age, it is not unusual for them to live another 20 years, while gradually becoming more and more incapacitated.
Caregivers struggle Financially to pay for Alzheimers Disease
Older Alzheimer patients may receive Medicare coverage to pay for basic care, but additional costs such as long-term care or a nursing home may not be covered. What do some families have to do to cover the medical expense gaps? Its not unusual for families to use their long-term savings or retirement savings to pay for extra expenses.
Physical Activity and Alzheimers Disease
According to recent reports leading an active lifestyle can have benefits for people in all stages of dementia. Medical experts argue that exercise can be good for both your mental and physical health.
Do you have to hit the gym and work out an hour a day to get the benefits? No, benefits can be gained from a wide range of physical activities, including gardening and walking. Exercise can do the following:
- Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Reduce the risk of some types of cancers and strokes
- Increase muscular strength and flexibility
- Decrease the risk of osteoporosis
- Improve cognition
- Reduce the feeling of isolation
Before you start exercise
Before you start an exercise program it is important to talk to your doctor, especially if has been a while since you have engaged in a formal exercise program.