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Shutting Off the Light Switch in Your Mind

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

It is estimated that there are approximately 44 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia, reports Alzheimer's News Today. That is a sobering statistic, but if your loved one is one of those people, it's far more than a number on the Internet.

It's a life being lost, lost as though the light switch of recent memory was switched off, perhaps never to be turned on again.

In the U.S., an estimated 5.5 million people of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease. Of these, around 5.3 million are 65 and older and 200,000 are younger and have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Shockingly, about two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women, with 3.3 million women, age 65 and older having Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. and two million men.

Here's another sobering statistic:

Reports from the National Institute on Aging indicate that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years beyond the age of 65, so as the population ages, the disease impacts a greater percentage of people.

Today, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds, Alzheimer's News Today reports. Based on that, by the middle of the century, someone in the U.S. will develop the disease every 33 seconds and as many as 16 million people could be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. by 2050.

Enough of the statistics. If you've ever lived with or had to care for someone with Alzheimer's or other serious forms of dementia, you know the tragic consequences that lie in wait. And you know you need help.

Lisa Skinner is a behavior expert in Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementia. She has been a community counselor, a regional director of senior care facilities, a trainer, speaker and private adviser helping thousands of families and caregivers understand the daunting challenges of brain disease. She holds a degree in Human Behavior.

In this new episode of the NFN Radio News podcast, Lisa offers counter-intuitive solutions and tools to help people effectively manage the symptoms of brain disease, using some real-life examples to help increase understanding.

Not only is Lisa a professional counselor in this field, she draws from personal experience. In our conversation, she reveals that eight of her family members have suffered from Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia.

All of this experience led her to write the two-times best selling book, “Not All Who Wander Need Be Lost,” available on Amazon, which offers guidance for those who must deal with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. She also regularly writes a blog under the same title on Facebook.

For Alzheimer's patients, Lisa explains, the loss of short term memory occurs and worsens over time and is as though a light switch is suddenly turned off, causing the patient to draw from experiences long ago -- thus often making it impossible for them to recognize even the closest of loved ones.

If this is an area of interest or concern for you or someone close, take a few minutes to listen to this podcast.

Meanwhile, experts advise that physical activity among older people is essential to both physical and mental health. There is a well documented link between physical activity and increased mood-enhancement within as little as five minutes post exercise. Long term, exercise has been found to help alleviate depression and reduce your risk of developing Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Check out the Physical Activity Guide for Seniors from Sixty and Me for more info.

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