According to a report from the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimers will be the defining disease of the Baby Boomers”. To get a copy of their report, go to: http://www.alz.org/boomers/ .
”Dementia is most often thought of as a memory disorder, an illness of the aging mind. In its initial stages, that’s true — memory loss is an early hallmark of dementia. But experts in the field say dementia is more accurately defined as fatal brain failure: a terminal disease, like cancer, that physically kills patients, not simply a mental ailment that accompanies older age.”
If this is the case, we need to talk about end of life care earlier in disease process when the person is able to participate! One interesting education resource to facilitate these conversations is the “Speak Up” campaign sponsored by Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. http://www.advancecareplanning.ca/community-organizations.aspx
What do you think about talking about dementia as terminal? What do you think about starting conversations earlier in the disease process?