Raising Awareness Can Help With Identifying Early Signs of Dementia

Published on : 6/10/22
  • Today, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million. Dementia or some form of cognitive impairment exists in every part of the senior living community— including 60% of the population in assisted living environments. Given these statistics, it is imperative that senior living providers, caregivers, and the overall public become more informed about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

    June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month—which provides an opportunity for millions of people around the country to share information and resources about effective treatments, preventive strategies, and how to provide standard care to those affected. Raising awareness can help people recognize the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia. Because a growing number of residents in senior living communities are impacted, next-level hospitality services are needed to improve clinical outcomes and enable adults with cognitive impairments to thrive in place longer.

    Number & Ages of People 65 or Older with Alzheimer's Dementia, 2022

    Yet, many older adults, families, and care providers lack a basic understanding of dementia’s underlying conditions and expressions, and most caregivers are not properly equipped to deliver appropriate forms of care. Care communities must be empowered by bridging the gaps between research, policy, and frontline service.

    Graphic: Total number of people with Alzheimer’s Dementia is 6.5 million. 1.75 million (27%) are between the ages of 65 and 74, 2.41 million (37.2%) are ages 75-84 and 2.31 million (35.7%) are 85+.

    Sodexo recently released the report, “Re-Thinking Dementia: From Novel Prevention Strategies to Better Models of Care,” to help raise awareness around emerging research on dementia prevention and care, with the goal of improving the everyday lives of those living with dementia and the individuals surrounding them. The report features conversations with seven experts—each of whom are contributing to changing how we think about caring for older adults and those living with dementia. Each expert’s unique framework teaches how to develop practices, strategies, and supports that ensure a better culture of care from pre-diagnosis, early-stage interventions to improved quality of care for people living with advanced dementia.

    In senior living communities, it often begins with your staff. For example, Sodexo Seniors’ B Integrated Dining & Therapeutic Hospitality™ program takes a holistic approach to benefit residents who may have mild cognitive impairment or dementia across all levels of care. The B program offers employees evidence-based education and training to recognize signs of dementia and to work more closely with clinical care teams. It also highlights steps team members can take with dining room layouts and hospitality approaches to create a more inclusive environment for residents with cognitive impairment. Taking a collective approach is essential to providing the care your residents need and deserve.

    The more people are aware of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the more action we can inspire.

    Download a copy of the report “Re-Thinking Dementia.”

    Learn more about Sodexo Seniors’ B Integrated Dining & Therapeutic Hospitality™ program.