It’s not unusual to joke about having a “senior moment” when you can’t remember someone’s name or where you put the car keys. But for the 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, memory loss is no laughing matter. Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that impacts the functions of memory, speech and thought.
Here are some recent statistics from the national Alzheimer’s Association:
Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 123 percent.
One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops the disease.
By 2050, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.
When a patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, family members are suddenly faced with many decisions in order to ensure that their loved one has the best possible quality of life.
The Bon Secours Neurology Clinic is dedicated to providing every Alzheimer’s patient with the personalized treatment and care that they deserve. To help achieve that mission, an exciting initiative has launched that will better support families who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.
Starting this fall, the Bon Secours Neurology Clinic will be partnering with the Greater Richmond Alzheimer’s Association to provide dementia counseling at the clinic’s location at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital for those with dementia and their families or caregivers.
A social worker from the Greater Richmond Alzheimer’s Association will be on-site in the Neurology Clinic at St. Mary’s to help with education about the disease and locating community resources that the family members can access on behalf of their loved one.
“Initially, this social worker will be at the St. Mary’s location one day per week, but we plan to expand the service if it is well received,” said Cheryl Wood, a nurse practitioner in the neurology clinic. “Since the number of older adults is rising each year, the demand for this service will increase in the future.”
She added that Bon Secours physicians, psychologists and nurse practitioners will continue to evaluate the cause of memory complaints and help make a dementia diagnosis when appropriate.
“We have found that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and their families need an enhanced layer of support and consultation along the journey after receiving this difficult diagnosis,” concluded Wood. “Our new partnership with the Greater Richmond Alzheimer’s Association will help families better navigate the pathways to explore available resources in the community.”
For more information about the Bon Secours Neurology Clinic, contact 804-893-8656 or visit bonsecours.com/Richmond.