By 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65. What does the growing senior population mean for the future of dementia care?
The number of people who suffer from dementia will increase as the large â€śbaby boomâ€ť generation crosses over into retirement age. Dementia is not a specific diagnosis but rather a name for a group of symptoms. According to the National Institute on Aging, these symptoms include memory loss, confusion, difficulty speaking and expressing thoughts, wandering, trouble managing money, and more. Alzheimerâ€™s Disease is the most common form of dementia.
An estimated 1 in 10 Americans over 65 are living with dementia today. But only half of the 73 million baby boomers have reached retirement age. The number of individuals with dementia is expected to rise as this large demographic group moves past the 65-year age marker.
A study on cognitive impairment from Columbia University reveals how dramatically the incidence of dementia rises with age. Of participants in the long-term study, the rate of dementia was only 3% for those ages 65 to 69. It rose sharply to 30% for those over 90 years old. The growing number of dementia patients will require a larger number of direct care providers as well
Advances in Early Diagnosis
Dementia is typically diagnosed by primary care providers. The subtle early signs of dementia are changes in memory and thinking called mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A 2022 study from the Alzheimerâ€™s Association shows about 12% to 18% of those 60 and older have MCI. Some revert to normal cognition and some remain stable. However up to 15% of people diagnosed with MCI go on to develop dementia.
Unfortunately, the study revealed that 82% of Americans know little or nothing about MCI. A third of primary care providers surveyed said they donâ€™t know enough about MCI to answer a patientâ€™s questions about the condition. As the public and providers become more familiar with MCI, individuals will be able to receive early intervention and families will have more time to make legal, financial, and care decisions for the future.
Meth-Wick & Dementia Care
Meth-Wick Community fulfills an important role in dementia care in Linn County with its high quality care and facilities. Those with mild to moderate cases of cognitive loss call Arbor Place home. Arbor Place is a 24-hour assisted living center thatâ€™s designed to feel like a traditional family home. Research from the Alzheimerâ€™s Association shows that intimate, home-like settings provide the greatest benefit to people with cognitive loss. Those with more advanced dementia find respite at The Woodlands. The licensed nursing facility serves seniors who can no longer live independently but a specially designed wing is reserved for those with advanced stages of dementia.
If youâ€™re interested in learning more about dementia care at Meth-Wick, contact us today.