By Mimi Buderus, Owner of Right at Home Tampa
On April 11, 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) released a report calling upon policymakers and other stakeholders to make dementia a global public health priority. With statistics, science and case studies, the report provides a wakeup call to the global community about the public health crisis the world is facing and urges all countries to develop a comprehensive national dementia plan. “Alzheimer’s, among all non-communicable diseases, demands our urgent and serious focus. We must find the political will and accompanying funding for more effective treatments, earlier detection and diagnosis, and most critically prevention and cures. Absent this level and scope of attention, Alzheimer’s will surely become the fiscal nightmare of the 21st century, quite apart from the personal, family and community devastation it causes in its wake.”
Right at Home Tampa sees the toll dementia is already taking on families and community resources since most of our clients have some type of dementia, from earliest stages to advanced late stage. Safety is a huge concern with most because they tend to “fight” the reality of the diagnosis and continue to drive, cook, try to manage their medicines, etc. long past their abilities in these areas. Quality in-home care is extremely effective with dementia clients by assisting them in these areas and can be a cost-effective alternative well into the mid-stages of the diseases. Right at Home creates schedules and individualized care plans targeted to the unique circumstances of each client and takes into account the needs of the primary caregiver as well.
Particularly with Alzheimer’s, the journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and everyone involved must look at how to make all resources last to the end – not just monetary ones, but emotional and physical health as well. As a home care business owner and facilitator of two support groups, I’ve seen the power of people sharing resources, struggles, fears, and many successes. Alzheimer’s is a tsunami of global proportions and everyone involved in this already occurring crisis needs to educate the communities they are in to address the soon to be overwhelming needs.
To read the full report (and pass along to legislators in your area) go to: Dementia: A Public Health Priority at www.alz.co.uk/WHO-dementia-report