Dementia Still On The Rise


NEW cases of dementia continue to appear in St. Lucia with little to no support for family caregivers who are bearing the brunt end of financial depletion for care of a loved one living with dementia. Right now ADI reports “46.8 million people worldwide are living with dementia in 2015. This number will almost double every 20 years.

If global dementia care were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world exceeding the market values of companies such as Apple and Google.

The research with Alzheimer’s just in America is staggering. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that this one disease kills more Americans than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. It is also the only disease in the top 10 that cannot be slowed, stopped or prevented. From 2000 to 2013 deaths from other diseases have decreased significantly while Alzheimer’s increased 71%. Every 37 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. Every four seconds someone developed dementia worldwide according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Millions of people will develop Alzheimer’s but only half of them will actually be diagnosed. Patients are not diagnosed and there are many different reasons for this. This lack of diagnosis has caused a delusion of reality of this disease. It is a world epidemic.

Alzheimer’s affects 68% women and 38% men and almost two thirds of the caregivers are women.

Alz.org reports that although there are more whites and non-Hispanics with Alzheimer’s in America, there are more older African-Americans and Hispanics with Alzheimer’s. The Caribbean and Venezuela have a lower statistic, but Alzheimer’s Disease International Caribbean region are suggesting that the Caribbean culture is more in line for risk with the American statistics. We are not properly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, nor do we report or take data regarding Alzheimer’s and therefore our statistics are thought to be low of risk. Most of us know that the disease is growing rapidly here in the Caribbean region. What do we do about this? We make our voices heard by joining associations and organizations to bring about the awareness so that we can receive support like the rest of the world.

These two associations below are working on bringing more support to St. Lucia
http://www.alz.co.uk/; http://www.internationalcaregiversassociation.com/; The American www.alz.org is a great website for information as well, but no plans for a chapter here at this time.

You can also support Angels of the West Indies located in St. Lucia. For more information on how to support families that care for persons with dementia, ask for support info when you email us at [email protected]. Every kind action you do is not too little to help. Angel Assistants are always needed.

Q: I have been taking care of my mom for five years now. I think everything is ok but my siblings tell me I am stressed. How can I tell?

A: It is possible that you may be stressed and you are not aware of it. Do you regularly… 1. Feel like you have to do it all yourself and that you should be doing more? 2. Withdrawn from family, friends and activities that you use to enjoy? 3. Worry that the person you care for is safe? 4. Feel anxious about money and healthcare decisions? 5. Deny the impact of the disease and its effects on your family? 6. Feel grief or sadness that your relationship with the person isn’t what it use to be? 7. Get frustrated and angry with the person with dementia who continually repeats things and doesn’t seem to listen? 8. Have health problems that are taking a toll on you mentally and physically? You can go to www.alz.org and answer these questions above or you can email me your answers and I will give you more tips.

Sometimes family and friends can see changes in ourselves that we cannot see. They love and care about you, do not ignore their concern.
Send questions to [email protected] or 758-486-4509

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