Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yes, We Are Becoming More Confused

A CDC study confirms something most of us already are witnessing or experiencing: older members of the Baby Boomer generation showing signs of confusion and early memory loss.

The study, actually conducted in 2011 but not reported until last month, included a survey of 59,000 adults 60 and older living in 21 states and concluded 1 in 8 said they were noticing memory loss more often and that it was getting worse. A third of those said the memory impairment and confusion were impacting their work, social life and ability to do household chores. More people in the 60-65 age range reported memory loss impacting daily life than those in the 80-85 range.

What may be even more telling was that 80 percent of those individuals in the younger age group had not discussed their symptoms with a health care provider. Researchers say the stigma attached to dementia and particularly Alzheimer’s — which the general public considers one in the same — led to their remaining mum with their doctors.

“Some say ‘Oh, it’s just a normal part of aging.’ It’s not,” said Matthew Baumgart, senior director of public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, in an NBS News report. “When one in eight Americans 60-plus says they are having memory problems, then we continue to have a problem and things are not going to get better for the foreseeable future.”

In fact, that study only took into account the frontrunners in the largest demographic in the nation, which does not bode well for the Baby Boomers to come. And the researchers made sure the forgetfulness did not fall into the forgot-where-I-left-my-keys category but amounted to something more significant.

Baumgart said more studies like this are needed since the nation needs to be braced to care for aging Americans who will require specialized, costly care.

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