Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
An article in the Huffington Post quoted “Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias” to be the greatest obstacle and social crisis of our century. It may very well seem so, since a family of four will spend up to $17,000 in one year on health care alone.
Deemed a “massive social issue” by professor Martin Prince from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, senior citizens dealing with dementia can find assurance through non-pharmacologic treatments (NPTs) that side-step the harmful or lasting effects of pharmaceutical drugs. NPTs also employ skills training and occupational therapy-based strategies for families to help them prepare for the needs that come with dementia-related illness.
Two leading examples of NPTs are Thomas Jefferson University’s Jefferson Elder Care and New York University’s Caregiver Intervention. Both stray from facility-based care and instead emphasize familial awareness and proven home care giving programs.
As we ring in the New Year, let’s keep in mind the significance of dementia awareness, family involvement and our stronger national systems that support these values.