Dementia & The Next President of the USA

I have to share this piece which appeared in The New York Times a while ago, but it’s a striking piece about Alzheimer’s disease and the future of our country.

Zen and the Art of Coping With Alzheimer’s


During the YouTube forum with the Democratic presidential candidates in July, the first question about health care came from two middle-age brothers in Iowa, who faced the camera with their elderly mother. Not everybody with Alzheimer’s disease has two loving sons to take care of them, they said, adding that a boom in dementia is expected in the next few decades.

“What are you prepared to do to fight this disease now?” they asked.

The politicians mouthed generalities about health care, larded with poignant anecdotes. None of them answered the question about Alzheimer’s.

Scary stuff. But as a nation we are on the verge of a disaster. Anyone reading this blog likely knows the cost of caring for a demented parent is astronomical, even with insurance! Home care is not typically covered by the insurance company and what some families have to do in order to qualify for certain programs is heartbreaking.

Factor in the emotional toll (yes, most of us go to therapy, on top of support groups, on top of happy hour with others like us), and you have one hot mess on your hands. Frankly, it’s startling that this looming crisis (think Pompeii) hasn’t received more attention—for caregivers and victims of the disease.

You can the rest of Denise Grady’s amazing story here.

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