It’s about time for some good news about the incidence of dementia in the U.S. If you’ve been following this, you know that the projections for the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. are staggering. The Alzheimer’s Association projects more than 13.8 million senior adults to have this diagnosis by 2050 – nearly three times the current population of affected individuals.
My previous business partner would call this “job security” for all of our memory care providers, but we know that behind the business considerations of need and service, there are real people – real families – who suffer from the loss of dignity, relationships, independence and so much more.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new study, published February 11th in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the incidence of dementia (especially that caused by things other than Alzheimer’s disease) may actually be dropping in elders, with fewer people developing dementia and those that do developing it later in life. Read more:
Researchers found that education and improved cardiovascular health are having a positive effect on Americans, offering even more hope to those of us in smack in the middle of the boomer generation.
For years I’ve focused on getting my heart rate up through vigorous walking, hiking and even running, all in the belief that what’s good for the heart has to also be good for the brain. When families have asked, “What can I do to reduce my own risk of developing this disease?” I’ve recommended the basics: staying mentally and physically active, watching your nutrition closely and keeping connected with other people.
It seems we have evidence that at least a part of this formula is spot on – an exciting development for all of us in health and senior care.
So instead of lunch today, take a brisk walk and save your heart and your brain!