Ill or injured military personnel and veterans and people with dementia are unique populations, but they give us a preview of the enormous long-term care challenges Americans will face in the decades to come.
Dementia takes a huge toll on those afflicted with it but also has major consequences for those who must care for them. More than 15 million Americans provide care for loved ones with dementia—tending to their daily, routine needs and ensuring their medical needs are met.
Among American caregivers, there are two expanding populations: those caring for military servicemembers struggling with physical or emotional wounds of war and those looking after people with dementia. Both face incalculable financial stresses and threats to their own health as a result of their caregiving roles.
The Group of 8 industrial nations is convening a special session to seek an international approach to dementia research at a time the disease is being recognized as a 21st century global health crisis of historic proportions.