As a Kentucky-based company, we at Memorable Pets feel it is especially important to shed light on issues taking place in our area, and in this case, it is particularly disheartening to learn that the death rate for Alzheimer's in both Kentucky and Indiana has risen by over 70 percent since the year 2000. In addition, many Americans are not even being told they have the disease.
This new report comes from the Alzheimer's Association—according to the 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, Kentucky suffered from 1,462 Alzheimer's-related deaths in 2012, while Indiana suffered 2,104. The Association estimates that around 68,000 Kentucky seniors and 110,000 Indiana seniors currently have the disease.
An analysis in the report also shows that less than half of Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's disease are being told by their doctors about the diagnosis, while the disclosure rates for breast cancer and prostate cancer are 96 percent and 92 percent, respectively.
DeeAnna Esslinger, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association's Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter, says that the poor disclosure rate for Alzheimer's may be due to the stigma that's commonly associated with the disease, as well as some physicians being ill-equipped to talk about an Alzheimer's diagnosis with patients and their families.
Esslinger says the lack of effective treatments and no cure for Alzheimer's may also explain doctors' hesitance to reveal a diagnosis. However, she encourages people who think they are experiencing symptoms, or those who are concerned for a loved one, to be assertive and persistent. "Go to the doctor and ask the questions and keep asking the questions until you are satisfied that you have the appropriate answer."
Read more: Alzheimer's disease takes toll in Ky. and Ind.
At Memorable Pets, we are highly dedicated to raising funds for Alzheimer's awareness and research, which is why a portion of the proceeds from each Memorable Pet goes toward Alzheimer's care. You can learn more about our selection of pets and how you can help at our website: memorablepets.com