29 Sep What Seniors Fear Most
Cognitive Decline Second Greatest Fear Among Those 50+
The Golden Years. That’s what we once called the prospect of aging gracefully into retirement, happily engaged in hobbies and travel, surrounded by family and friends, and without a care in the world.
That was then. Now is a different story, as those aged 50 and above face an uncertain future driven by two stark fears: the diagnosis and care of a loved one with dementia — and the inability to find the financial resources to cope.
A recent nationwide survey by AARP of adults aged 50+ found that 94 percent of the survey respondents identified “staying mentally sharp” as an extremely/very important issue for them. That fear was brought home in a dramatic way in a 2012 survey by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion revealing Americans dread Alzheimer’s more than any other life-threatening disease — even cancer.
Because so many Americans feel they are unprepared to cope with caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, fear of becoming an Alzheimer’s caregiver is as prevalent as fear of a personal diagnosis of dementia, according to the Marist survey.
Among the survey’s findings:
- While 63 percent of Americans have had a personal experience with someone with Alzheimer’s or a serious memory loss problem, nearly as many (61 percent) believe they are unprepared to care for a loved one diagnosed with dementia.
- The chief fear from receiving a personal Alzheimer’s diagnosis isn’t the losing of a life’s worth of memories—it’s the burden the condition would place on loved ones thrust into the role of caregiver.
- Exactly half of the respondents—50% of the total—thought it would be harder to receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis…while the other half believed it would be harder to be an Alzheimer patient caregiver.
The fears of older Americans are palpable. But fear can be faced with the right knowledge; the knowledge that comes with knowing that lifestyle changes — including diet, exercise, and social interaction — can help improve the chances of retaining and extending cognitive health.
MemoryMeals is the new cognitive health program that is being adopted by the leaders in Senior Living. With clinically-vetted nutrition and meal planning, resident education and brain-stimulating activities, Senior Living residents are conquering their fears by taking control of their brain health – one meal at a time.
For more information on how you can become a leader in brain health, visit www.memorymeals.com