PBS recently made the praise-worthy effort to address one of the most important public health issues – for today and the foreseeable future – when it aired a TV report titled, “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts.”
As a provider of care, services and living accommodations for seniors, our caregivers and staff members at Atria Senior Living communities across the U.S. are well aware of dementia’s impact. We see the toll it takes on individuals and their families, on caregivers and society as a whole. We support research and fundraising efforts in hopes of finding a cure.
While we do not know when that cure will arrive, fear, stigma and uncertainty should not shape discussion of dementia. Instead, we should consider what can be done now, today, to help individuals with dementia continue to live engaging, meaningful and joyful lives.
There is a growing recognition that dementia is not only the responsibility of those directly affected, but society as a whole. A great example is theglobal movement to make more cities and towns “dementia friendly” by educating citizens and working to improve the safety and quality of life for those with dementia. Let’s hope this attitude of compassion and accountabilitycontinues to grow in prevalence.
Webelieve life does not end when dementia begins. Ours should not be a language of despair, but instead, one of possibility and hope found in incremental progress, one life at a time.
Life Guidance Operations