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[This is the 401st post published by adozenseconds.com at the rate of 3 per week (MWF). To date, we haven't missed a deadline…For more (in this case), go to the ♣ at the very end.]

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Alzheimer’s

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No cure.    No end in sight to cost.

 

For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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The details which follow (except for the first three and last paragraphs) come from Kathleen Parker¹, a columnist we respect.

   Recently we entertained Jane and her husband George², dear college friends a bit younger than ourselves, on a annual visit. Jane, who had a gentle spirit, had difficulty remembering who people were, even children and grandchildren from her own family. She had to be led to our guest bedroom. Jane and George had taught us so much about life, especially about raising children and other practical matters. (My wife and I had married later than they, were older but had younger children, so we took careful notes.)

   But now Jane had Alzheimer’s and, in spite of a loving, caring husband, was slowly going downhill.

   It was a sad encounter.

   According to Parker, who met with Rob Egge, the Alzheimer’s Association’s chief  public policy officer, at the “recent” international conference in Washington, the following are true:

(1)  Medicare will be able to finance only 86% of its obligations by 2030.

(2)  Today 5.3 million have Alzheimer’s; by 2050, that number will triple to about 16 million.

(3)  Alzheimer’s will bankrupt Medicare–only from its direct costs.

(4)  The 2015 cost of care for Alzheimer’s and all other dementias is estimated at $226 billion, with 68% of this being paid by Medicare.

(5)  There is currently no treatment for Alzheimers.

(6)  Within the next 10 years, 19 states will see at least a 40% increase in the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s.

(7)  Few resources have been dedicated to research on Alzheimer’s despite the fact that it is the 6th leading cause of death in the U. S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current funding is less than $600 million.

(8)  Two-thirds of today’s sufferers from Alzheimer’s are women.

      According to Parker, today, especially in light of projected rapid increase in this disease, whatever else is done to preserve Medicare will be irrelevant. “We are in a state of emergency.”

   And when such an emergency comes to your doorstep, words and numbers take on new meaning.

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   ¹ Details are from Kathleen Parker’s column, “Address Alzheimer’s before we lose our minds” that appeared the the Binghamton Press on Aug. 3, 2015. Parker discusses some ongoing research and findings (nothing seeming to be earth-shaking) that aren’t mentioned here. She can be contacted at kathleenparker@washpost.com.

   ² Names and certain other details are changed.

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