Tuesday, September 22, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day

World Alzheimer's Day

Yesterday, September 21, I am told was World Alzheimer's Day.

I didn't really know about it beforehand. Thought it was interesting though that it coincided with the 2nd anniversary of my dad's death. I don't know that I would have done anything differently had I known.

We are now told that more than 35 million people suffer from Alzheimer's or some other dementia worldwide and that number is about 10% greater than what was predicted a few years earlier.

By 2030 the number is estimated to nearly double and by 2050 a staggering 115 million persons are projected to have the disease.

After two years I find I have very little confidence in The Alzheimer's Association or any government or even any medical practitioner. That's not really a change in my confidence level from my caregiving days mind you. Actually I had zero confidence then and I still have zero confidence.

It is like those commercials for depression drugs that warn you that one of the side affects of the drug is depression. Then you learn that people that are depressed that are taking the drugs are still depressed. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

On the other hand I am skeptical of these projected numbers, too.

There is an entire industry that grows up around diseases. I receive various kinds of advertisements for M D Anderson as well as one of our local hospitals and Cancer Centers of America. I like the latter because there is this one "doctor" that tells a "patient" that she has no "expiration notice."

Alzheimer's well on it way. It takes a lot of specialized people and facilities and so on and it is a disease that makes us all fearful.

Maybe I'm turning into an old cynic.


Staci said...

Those statistics are astounding. I suppose the elevated numbers have to do with increasing population and with increasing age of people, but still....

Lori1955 said...

I'm afraid that I'm as much as a cynic as you are. Alzheimer's is still basically a disease of the elderly and frankly I don't think that beyond the financial costs of this disease, nobody really cares.

~Betsy said...

I agree with you and Lori. I don't think anybody really cares either.