If we only knew the resources needed to care for our elderly, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, we’d be shocked. It is on the increase – 71% in the past decade! According to the Alzheimer’s Association:
- Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops this disease;
- Family caregivers spend approximately $5,000 per year caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s;
- Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death , and one without prevention or a cure or a mechanism to slow its growth;
- Caregivers have very high-stress levels, and provided about $15.1 billion in uncompensated care from those surveyed in 2015;
- Comparison of Statistics my two home states –
- Connecticut – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 883 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016, with it being the 6th leading cause of death;
- South Carolina – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 561 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016. South Carolina is the 8th highest state in the U.S. re prevalence of Alzheimer’s with an 86% increase since year 2000!
Numbers don’t lie, no matter what the economic state of our nation. “The rich get richer and the poor get children …and Alzheimer’s”, to paraphrase the old saying. Chronic unemployment, poverty, lack of access to nutritious food, lack of availability of medical care, increased crime and stress on communities, all contribute to people’s minds and bodies wasting. What can be done? I do not have the answers.
However, I know that with dedication, perseverance, and innovative investigation, Cue Center for Missing Persons is ready to assist in locating our elders, wherever they may be. A mandatory part of the equation is always the need for a collective consciousness for the community to do the right thing, stepping forward with any information that may contribute to a successful recovery of a missing person.
Here are four additional examples, to my Part I blog. Knowing that many of the people in the registry have been missing for several years, gone missing as a young or middle-aged person, we can only speculate that in 2016, there are considerably higher numbers of the people now classified as elderly had they disappeared in the 1980 and 199os.
Examples of the Missing Elderly from the Cue Center Registry
1)Brevard, North Carolina – Edna Glaze, age 76 went missing in March 1996 after walking or being dropped off at a hardware store followed by a music store. Edna was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
2) Chippewa County, Michigan -Joseph Clewley, age 73, went missing in July 2008 south of Paradise, Michigan on the North County Pathway. He was an avid hiker with a cabin, with significant medical conditions of a physical nature. http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/joseph-clewley-2/
3) Henderson, Texas –Shirley Hunt, age 72, went missing in June 2007. Shirley was last seen walking from her residence in Henderson about 3 p.m. Shirley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/
4) Pleasanton, Kansas- Richard Clark, age 67, went missing in October 2005. Richard was a former truck driver and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was last seen in his community at a local grocery store and /or truck stop. http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/
Please assist us by reading and circulating this information. You may never know if it triggers a memory or piece of information to assist in their recovery. The elderly are precious citizens.
Listen to this recent Shattered Lives podcast with Kimberly Kelly of Project Far From Home to get a better understanding about searching for the elderly with dementia and Alzheimers.
References – http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp