I picked up the current issue of TIME this weekend. The one with the cover story of Alzheimer’s. I learned a few things about how the disease progresses, what we can expect in the future and the responsibility on caregivers. What I wasn’t aware of was that currently more than 5 million suffer from the disease and if predictions are correct by the year 2050, we can expect that number to grow to 13.4 million. The population of San Antonio is about 1.2 million so that helps to get a clear picture of the expected growth.
The hope in the article was at the very end. “Living robustly and well is one of the best weapons we have against the disease” at least at this point. TIME also reported that there is an estimated 50% drop in the risk of developing memory problems among elderly who walk 6-9 miles a week. That is really a small price to pay for good mental and physical health. Divide that by 6 days a week and it’s not much at all. (Everybody needs a day of rest.)
On the same day that I discovered TIME, USA Today reports predictions on diabetes. Already 1 in 10 adults have diabetes and the expected rise in the next 40 years could grow to be as much as 1 in 3. While it is feasible to prevent and control a lot of this, it takes commitment. It is easy to just think of the numbers as statistics, until it smacks us in the face. If you are exercising and making the correct food choices, good for you. We are on the right track.