Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dementia Friendly America--kind of weird term?

Stat, a Boston Globe health policy publication, says local programs tied to a project called Dementia Friendly America are starting to be rolled out.

Sometimes I think about the political scene and think this IS Dementia Friendly America, but I snark.

Anyway, test programs are bring launched with state money and grants to help first responders, police officers, bank tellers, caregivers, and road sign makers, among others, to better handle the growing number of citizens who suffer from dementia.

The number of Americans with Alzheimer's is 5.3 million and there are other forms of dementia, or senility, as it used to be called.

By 2050, this will be 16 million.

I spent 18 years caring for my mother, who had simple, garden-variety memory issues.  We ran into many officials and even a couple of hospital nurses who seemed puzzled by her not making sense, her flares of anger (and swearing--a no-no when we were kids), and generalized non-tracking.

Doctors would ask her, not us, my sister and me,  what was wrong with her. She would cheerily say, "Nothing, why do you ask?" I remember a bank official who handed the phone to her to talk to Social Security--she could hardly figure out which end to put to her ear--and I had power of attorney.

I think people in the public and health sectors can use some more education on this subject.

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