Alzheimer's Role Reversals (06:05)
Daisy Duarte spends almost every moment taking care of her mother, Sonya, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, a neurodegenerative disease which has become increasingly common worldwide. The pair lives off of a pension and travel to St. Louis every six months for a checkup with Sonya's Neurologist. Dr. Beau Ances worries about Sonya as her condition rapidly deteriorates.
Increasing Number of Dementia Patients (06:38)
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but there are no known ways of prevention of treatment. Dr. Rudolph Tanzi discusses how longevity continues to increase, but health is decreasing. The state of Florida is the epicenter of the epidemic as the population there rapidly ages and they have the highest number of annual cases.
Full Time Alzheimer's Care (03:39)
In Florida, there is a booming nursing home and assisted living industry; many facilities specialize in Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory disorders and dementia. Sandy Goldman of Seasons Memory Care describes how labor intensive the disease is for caregivers. State of the art assisted living facilities are extremely expensive.
Death Rates in America (06:28)
Alzheimer’s is America’s most expensive disease and is much more costly than cancer or heart disease, the other leading causes of death. Cases continue to skyrocket which will soon lead to a financial and health epidemic within the country. Doctors like Shan Liu and caseworkers like Brenda Donovan care constantly for Alzheimer’s patients admitted to ER’s on a regular basis.
Preventative Care (05:31)
Unlike most Alzheimer’s patients, Sonya is only sixty years of age. She contracted the disease so early due to a genetic mutation, which was inherited by her daughter Daisy who is Sonya’s caregiver. Daisy is taking part in a clinical trial for a preventative Alzheimer’s treatment hoping to avoid the disease.
Paying for Alzheimer's Care (05:41)
Brooks Gentry, a specialist in elder law, is attempting to help Phyllis’s family extend the amount of time she can remain in a facility such as Seasons Memory Care. Medicare and private insurance do not cover the type of care Alzheimer’s patients require. Medicaid is a state-funded program which could help but has a long waiting list and an extensive application process.
Dementia is New Hampshire (08:48)
New Hampshire has one of the country’s fastest-growing elderly population. Small medical practices in isolated villages are the only types of care available to Alzheimer’s patients. More than forty percent of people with memory problems in the state live alone. State policies also limit the number of nursing home beds available.
Adjusting to Assisted Living (02:46)
Phyllis is ready to return home after only spending one week in the assisted living facility. Her son has a difficult time explaining to her she must stay in the nursing home. Seasons administrator Sandy Goldman explains the guilt family members feel upon having to admit their loved one into a memory care facility.
Future of Alzheimer's Research (06:52)
Money for Alzheimer’s research, as with any public health epidemic, comes from the federal government, but experts argue not enough funding has been allocated to preventing and treating this health threat. Daisy spends time in Washington lobbying senators for research money for Alzheimer’s disease. Sonya must receive hospice care as she enters the late stages of her disease.
Credits: Alzheimer's (00:31)
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