One in seven people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in the US live alone, and many don’t have designated caregivers or near by family members to help them judge situations as their disease progresses. That’s 800,000 Americans who will eventually need more support with Alzheimer’s care.
Screenings of older adults to catch Alzheimer’s earlier is part of the first National Alzheimer’s Plan, due to be finalized this month. The plan also urges doctors to help patients plan ahead for their future care needs while they still can, a critical component to continued independence and control. Alzheimer’s care often consumes families who are called on later in the process.
This article from the Boston Herald newspaper quotes Maine Medical Center’s Dr. Laurel Coleman, geriatrician, as she talks about Alzheimer’s care needed for patients who struggle both with a dementia diagnosis and a lack of support.