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The number of people around the world suffering from dementia is now over 46 million, according to The World Alzheimer Report, published by King’s College of London and Alzheimer’s Disease International. Time cites the report, emphasizing that the number is a dramatic increase from the estimated 35 million who were afflicted with the disease in 2009. Researchers warn that if no medical breakthrough happens for the prevention or cure of Alzheimer’s and other dementia, the number could double in 20 years.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for majority of dementia cases, with other forms such as frontotemporal dementia, Lewy Body dementia, Huntington’s disease, and vascular dementia making up the rest. In the U.S., 2015 estimates peg the number of Alzheimer’s patients at 5.3 million. 

Dementia and Aging

People are more likely to develop dementia as they age, specifically at age 65 and above, with the prevalence rising to 37.4 percent for those aged 90 and older. In Marietta, GA, individuals who are 65 and older make up 8.3 percent of the population. It should be noted that people younger than 65 can also be afflicted with dementia in cases known as early-onset dementia. Generally, however, as the population ages, the number of people who are vulnerable to the condition increases.

Care for Dementia

As of now, no cure or definitive prevention method has been found for dementia, but many treatment methods are being tested in different parts of the world. In the absence of a cure, palliative care, which is a kind of care given to improve quality of life rather than to cure the disease, is an important part of treatment for dementia.

The main symptoms of dementia are problems with memory and thinking, on a level beyond what is naturally due to aging. As the disease progresses, dementia patients will gradually lose the ability to care for themselves. While family members, particularly children of the afflicted, often act as primary caregivers, looking after the patients often takes a toll on the caregivers’ own health and lifestyles. 

Professional home health care givers provide invaluable assistance to the patients and their families. With their training and skills, home care providers cater to the specific needs of the patient right where the patient is most comfortable – at home. The service encompasses skilled nursing, prescription management, physical therapy, and more.

Addressing Varied Needs

Each individual case may require different kinds of dementia care. Companies like Homewatch Caregivers of North Atlanta can develop a customized plan, taking a patient’s unique needs into consideration, including the schedule of the primary caregivers, specific requirements, prescribed medications, and others.

Sources: 

(Over 46 Million People Now Have Dementia Worldwide, Time, Aug. 25, 2015)

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