Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect 35.7 million people around the world, a number that is projected to triple by 2050. These numbers are staggering and compounded by the fact that less than one in four people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia are formally diagnosed. Without a diagnosis, many do not receive the proper care, treatment or support from medical professionals, friends or family.
Alzheimer’s is a devastating condition that impairs memory, communication, reasoning and judgment; it is the most common form of dementia. Currently one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another type dementia; the death rate increased from 68% from 2000 to 2010 and will only continue to rise. Further, spending related to Alzheimer’s and dementia research and care also continues to increase. The estimated global cost of dementia in 2010 was $604 billion, or 1% of the world GDP. Clearly, Alzheimer’s has a crippling effect on the global population, especially with no known cure.
With over 40 percent of Home Care Assistance clients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, we saw the need for services and resources that not only address the unique needs of dementia patients but also help delay the progression of the disease. These services would enhance the quality of life of the men and women living with some form of dementia (and that of their loved ones).
Based on scientifically-supported best practices in dementia care and spearheaded by a team of neuropsychologists and researchers, Home Care Assistance created Dementia Therapeutics, an in-home, non-pharmacological intervention program developed for individuals with the neurocognitive deficits that result from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Based in the Bay Area and set to launch throughout North America, the program consists of a uniquely tailored intervention plan that accounts for the client’s history, weaknesses, needs, personal preferences and goals. Thoroughly trained caregivers use among 300 research-based interventions which target both cognitive and non-cognitive domains. These interventions may delay the onset of more severe symptoms by as many as 5 to 10 years for individuals with mild cognitive impairment.
Having a professional caregiver in the home is beneficial to both the client and the client’s family. Family members can take a break from their hectic caregiving schedules to relax and recharge, knowing that their loved one is receiving the highest-quality care available.
While Home Care Assistance is revolutionizing Alzheimer’s and dementia care in the home, scientists are racing to find a cure for this disease and are getting closer by the day. With significant advances being made in the medical and technological fields, it’s an exciting time to be involved in dementia care and improving quality of life for men and women across North America.