New report says Alzheimer’s treatment centers have room to improve

A new report highlights areas for needed improvements in Alzheimer's treatment centers.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:14 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - A new report from the Alzheimer’s Association highlights areas for needed improvements as treatment centers become available.

The report estimates that 6.7 million people over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s Dementia, a condition that requires long-term and costly management.

This year, the national cost of caring for Alzheimer’s victims is projected to reach $345 billion, roughly $24 billion over a year ago.

Focus groups in the report revealed that many people suffering from cognitive deterioration do not discuss their symptoms with their health care providers. Experts say that regular doctor visits are critical in order to halt or slow the progression of the disease.

Jim Herlihy, VP of marketing and communications for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, says that the first step to tackling the issue starts with the family physician. “The process needs to start with the family physician. That is where people need to go, and take their loved one if they are not taking themselves, take their spouse or their parent to see their physician to help understand where some of the challenges may be. And from that point, if the doctor determines that further testing is necessary, then it would go onto a specialist,” said Herlihy.

Herlihy added that the problem is exacerbated in rural areas, further perpetuating the problem of finding a physician to help them manage the disease.