By Bob DeMarco
Editor Note: If you are looking for additional self assessment tests for Alzheimer's visit the following page -- Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's Dementia (5 Best Self Assessment Tests)
Dr Oz started his show in a straight forward no nonsense way. He said, "Alzheimer's is a long slow death sentence". He said this in a calm, matter of fact way. It might be scary or disheartening to hear, but it is a fact.
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Dr Oz also said, "everyone in the audience will either get it (Alzheimer's), or know someone that has it" in their lifetime.
Dr Oz pointed out that a growing number of Americans are now asking -- Do I have it?
In 18 minutes, Dr Oz described Alzheimer's, the warning signs, and ways to change aging and prevent, or help prevent, Alzheimer's disease. He spent much of that 18 minutes discussing exercise, brain fitness, and how to eat healthy.
From my seat in front of the television, I thought Dr Oz did a really effective job in those 18 minutes. I think he accomplished something we all want to see -- he brought awareness to Alzheimer's disease.
Later in the day, I found myself remembering when I was a teen someone in our neighborhood was diagnosed with cancer. They were shunned. People were afraid to go near the person. No one talked about the cancer. Sound familiar?
At the time, most people knew one thing about cancer -- it was a death sentence. Do you have a cigarette?
Last year the number one article on this website was Test Your Memory (TYM) for Alzheimer's or Dementia in Five Minutes. I put that article up in June and each and every month it was the number one most frequently viewed article. People from all over the world came to read the article. They came mostly via Google. They also came via Yahoo, Bing, and Ask. They came via search. They came because they were searching for a test -- to test their memory for Alzheimer's disease.
The world is learning. The world is worried. The awareness of Alzheimer's is growing fast. This is a good thing.
A Harris Interactive study showed that 100 million Americans have been touched by Alzheimer's. The same study indicated that 33 million Americans are worried about Alzheimer's. That study is almost a year old. I have to assume the numbers are growing.
Our children and our children's children are now being exposed to Alzheimer's. In my opinion a sad thing. But, a good thing -- awareness is growing.
As more people see Alzheimer's from the front row, understanding of the disease will grow. At some point, people will stop shunning those suffering from Alzheimer's disease. People will start to understand that they need to help Alzheimer's caregivers.
Right now, I believe most people believe that Alzheimer's caregiving is like baby sitting. I wish I could say what I think about that right here -- for now I won't.
Recently, one of our readers wrote to me about his brother who is the full time caregiver for his mother. He wrote that his sister was constantly berating the brother for venting. She was putting him down. The caregiving brother suggested that his sister take the mother for a month. She readily agreed. Want to guess what happened?
The sister lasted two days. Two days. She sent her mother back to her brother. She is no longer berating her brother. She now has a better understanding of what it is like to live Alzheimer's from the front row.
Perhaps Dr Oz should arrange for some brothers and sisters of Alzheimer's caregivers to step in and do the job of the Alzheimer's caregiver for a week. He could then do a show. He'll need more then 18 minutes.
I beleive that would be one heck of a show and I would like to see it. I would like to write about it right here.
Millions and millions are now seeking to have their memory tested for Alzheimer's. So far most of them are seeking out free tests on the Internet. It won't be long before there will be a national demand for memory testing as a part of all health care insurance programs.
It is my belief that beginning at age 65, everyone should have their memory tested every two years. This could be incorporated into a semi-annual physical. There is a mountain of research that shows that catching Alzheimer's and dementia early is important and makes a difference.
The long term health care costs associated with Alzheimer's could be lowered through testing and early diagnosis. As soon as the healthcare insurance companies learn this they will start offering the test. But, not before they become convinced that they will make more profit by doing so, rather than waiting for the death sentence to be pronounced. This is the state of health care in America today -- profit comes first.
I want to thank Dr Oz for helping spread awareness about Alzheimer's disease. He clearly made a difference. If you would like to thank Dr Oz -- go here.
Go here to take the Alzheimer's Memory Quiz on the Dr Oz website.
- Alzheimer's Disease and the Five Stages of Grief
- What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?
- Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's Disease (5 Best Self Assessment Tests)
- Communicating in Alzheimer's World
- Worried About Alzheimer's Disease -- You Should Be
- Alzheimer's Disease Statistics
- Ten Symptoms of Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease
- Ten Tips for Communicating with an Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 2,101 articles with more than 272,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room