The Financial and Emotional Costs of Caring for Parents with Dementia are Increasing
In the last two blog posts, I have shared worrying concerns about the increased obesity in the Baby Boomer generation and the risks of multitasking on brain health for the Generation X and Millennial generations. I wish these were the only two health trends that leaders should worry about. Unfortunately, they are not.
Another worrying trend — one with growing daily impact — is the increase in the number of Baby Boomers who are having to be caregivers to elderly parents and spouses crippled by dementia. As one who helped his own father cope with short-term memory loss and a gradual decline in cognitive abilities for the last four-plus years of his life, I can attest that this is a difficult task for which most of us have not been trained.
As lifespans lengthen, adult children in their 60s and 70s are increasingly caring for frail, older parents. An analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 10% of adults ages 60 to 69 whose parents are alive serve as parental caregivers, as do 12% of adults age 70 and older. Unfortunately, this is not something that we have been trained to handle. And neither are our own children.
The financial and emotional difficulties of these situations will undoubtedly increase for years to come. If you do not want to be a burden to your own children, you must start making some critical lifestyle changes now. After all, brain health is a lifetime pursuit, not something to be pushed off until your elderly years.
That’s one key reason why I wrote Better Decisions. Better Thinking. Better Outcomes. Over 76 million people around the world will be struggling with mental wellness issues by 2030. There is no excuse for allowing a 60% increase in the number of people struggling with dementia in the next decade, as currently forecast. Especially when neuroscience is proving that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are both postponable and maybe even preventable.
Take actions today to start building and maintaining the health of your brain. You can start by reading (and then sharing) Better Decisions. Better Thinking. Better Outcomes. It’s available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.