Utah researchers find caregivers' attitudes critical in Alzheimer's disease progression

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  • HeadlineBooks Terra Alta, WV
    Jan. 28, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    Frank Fuerst cared for his wife June for 17 years after she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. He shared his experience and a ton of practical advice in "Alzheimer's Care With Dignity," a book that's available from your favorite online or local bookstores.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Jan. 20, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    God bless the Romney family!

  • Jared Average, SE
    Jan. 20, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    Thanks for helping educate about Alzheimer's disease. One inaccuracy from the article though (and a severe one at that):

    "Utah has the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's in the nation, as well as a 127 percent projected growth rate for the next 12 years..."

    From the report: "Utah has the highest per capita prevalence increase of Alzheimer’s among all states"

    Not highest prevalence but per capita prevalence increase. There's a huge difference. All it means is that Utah had 22,000 reported cases of Alzheimer's in 2000 and will have a projected 50,000 in 2025. That's a 127% increase over 25 years (again, the second number is projected so the real number could be higher or lower). The most up to date figures are that Utah had 32,000 with Alzheimer's in 2010, a 45% increase from 2000.

    What this does not mean is that Utah has the highest prevalence (in 2010 it was 1.16%). Compare that to Georgia in 2010 (randomly selected) at 1.24% prevalence. Utah will have greater increases because Utahans are generally healthier and live longer - age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Utah is also a desirable place to retire.

  • Willybee71 GARDEN CITY, NY
    Jan. 20, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    Thanks for some interesting insights....Just lost my Dad at 97, who declined over four years. It's not just cost to taxpayer, but many "patients" are just not amenable to institutional care. The "clinical attitude" of some caregivers causes some to "clam up" and refuse to communicate and interact. One neurology type kept concluding, "deep and advanced dementia", when the standard query of, "Can you tell me what year it is ??", went unanswered except for flicking wave of hand.
    When finally agitated over interrogation while he was trying to nap, he blurted, "Go ask someone else, and let me sleep." Similar diagnosis from the query of, "Who's the President ??". No response. I finally had to interject that Dad doesn't like the current President; "you won't get him to say the name out loud without considerable accompanying profanity. Ask him who his favorite President was." Immediate animated answer followed by a tirade discussion of leadership backed by character. Was pretty funny.
    Same goes for Physical Therapist Aides. You can't bark at a 94-year old like a mad Texas High-School Football coach and expect progress.
    We brought Dad home for his last two years.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 20, 2013 5:36 a.m.

    I believe this research us accurate. I'm aquainted with an elderly couple who are handling the challenges of this disease, and have for several years. The "non-alzheimer's" spouse has always been solicitous of the other, and also participates in activities, such as dancing. The wife is also the one who has the disease. However, she still cooks, because he sets out ingredients in order so she can start and one end and go to the other and create something. This takes a lot of work on his part but she isn't as frustrated as she could be. My hat is off to him. My question is, why is alzheimer's so much higher in Utah than anywhere else? Are there more elderly here?