My mom had Alzheimer’s disease and when I was a home care nurse, many of my rural clients had it too. I’ve seen people try to care for someone with dementia when they live in an isolated area and can’t get the information and support they need.
But the real demographic pressure will begin in 2021 when the first wave of baby boomers turns 75. So I think we have a window of opportunity now to enhance people’s quality of life.
And the truth is not everyone is going to be able to go to long-term care homes. There’s just not enough room, especially in rural areas.
We really need to prevent this crisis by better supporting people with dementia and their family caregivers. After all, they are the ones providing up to 90 per cent of care.
We need to improve quality of life for those with dementia, by providing their caregivers with support and advice. There is just so much more we could do to better to help people stay at home, if that’s what they want.
While the need is urgent, I believe things are getting better in terms of support.
In the past 10 to 15 years, when I go to international conferences on dementia care, there are now thousands of researchers. It really is heartwarming that so many people are researching for a cure for dementia and at quality of life issues.
Read more about Dr. Dorothy Forbes and her research.