On Alzheimer’s: facts and alternative options

Alzheimer’s disease takes more than memories. It’s taking life. Raising awareness and multiple alternative options for care makes the situation better for patients.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. From 2000 to 2013, Alzheimer’s death has increased 71%. Alzheimer’s is deadly partly because people have less awareness of it. It is hard for people who have few experiences with Alzheimer’s disease to imagine what it is like. Patients normally begin to suffer memory deterioration and then reasoning deterioration. After five to twenty years, patients become emotionally flat and finally vacant. Patients become “living dead” and require full-time care. A low disclosure rate makes this disease even more deadly. Comparing to cancer’s 90% disclosure rate , only 45% of people with Alzheimer’s disease or their caregivers report being told of their diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s disease is close to everyone. It’s the only major cause of death in the U.S. that cannot yet be prevented, cured or slowed.

Raising Awareness

There are more than five million people living with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. Every one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. This disease can happen to anyone.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Alzheimer’s Association as host of the Walk holds huge scale events nationwide annually.

St. Louis had its Walk on September 12th this year. This event attracted more than four thousand walkers and successfully raised more than 784,000 dollars.

Alternative Options

Alzheimer’s disease for families is stressful physically and mentally. There are plenty of options for patients and families. Help and support are accessible.

  • Assisted Living and Memory Care

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease need full-time care once they reach a certain stage. It is usually hard to keep them at home. Services like assisted living and memory care provides an alternative option for families. Their loved ones can receive professional care from institutions like this. Provision Living has one branch in Webster Groves.

*Staff from Provision Living at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2015.

Residences provide professional care. But to live in a residence that provides high quality care, it can cost dearly. The monthly charge for Provision Living at Webster Groves varies from 4,800 to 7,400 dollars due to different room type.

  • In-home Care

In-home Care covers a variety of services, including Alzheimer’s/Dementia care. Other services like meal preparation, housekeeping, bath and dressing, and toileting can also be helpful. Patients therefore can stay with their families and receive professional care at the same time.

  • Support Groups and Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Associations hold support group activities regularly. It is an opportunity for people to come and meet others who have similar experiences. According to Alzheimer’s Association, this can be “an empowering experience, helping members feel better prepared to cope with their unique situation.” Alzheimer’s Association holds support group meetings separately for patients and caregivers. Caregivers can also learn from trained professionals and be able to provide better support.


Every family member wants the best for their loved ones, but for various reasons, dilemmas exist and situations can be worse.

  • Ethical dilemma

Family members feel bad ethically if they leave their loved ones alone at an assisted living residence. But for most people who have a job, it is almost impossible to provide full-time care at home.

  • Financial dilemma

Without proper training, family members may not be able to take good care of their loved ones. But memory care residence and In-home Care services can be pricy for ordinary families.

Related blogs:

Senior Living Recipe of the Week: Chicken Carbonara and Diabetic-Friendly Cake

Sweetheart Dance: touch of sweetness

Programs on Brain Health Gain Significance



Author: Yue Zhang

Graduate student currently studying at University of Westminster, London. For my passion in storytelling, I am adventuring abroad to learn more.

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