By Steve Moran
One of my very favorite sessions of the Our Time to Shine Summit was the fireside chat between Maddy & Ken Dychtwald, founders of Age Wave and leaders in the aging services field. This one short clip got me to thinking about the battle against COVID-19 compared to the battle against Alzheimer’s.
Maddy then goes on to talk about the work she is doing to fight Alzheimer’s and what she is personally doing to protect her brain health. You can access the entire conversation through the Our Time to Shine web page (registration required).
The Contrast is Stark
It is estimated that currently, 5.8 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, and every year 121,000 people die from it. Globally 50 million people have Alzheimer’s. The direct cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. is $290 billion dollars a year.
Now compare that with COVID-19. There are currently more than 3 million cases worldwide and 217,000 deaths. In the U.S. 1,035,000 cases and 59,000 deaths, with the numbers still growing at a rapid pace.
In terms of healthcare costs and human costs, it would be hard to argue that COVID-19 is doing more damage than Alzheimer’s. Yet we have tanked the economy for COVID-19 and there is an “all hands on deck” effort to find a cure and vaccine for the coronavirus.
I find myself wondering what if we were willing to put the same amount of effort into figuring out how to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s? What if we were willing to tank the economy and put an “all hands on deck” effort to solve this problem? Don’t get me wrong, COVID-19 is a big deal and needs a massive effort to combat. I am not and have never been a “this is no big deal” problem person.
Imagine the pain and suffering we would eliminate. Imagine the money we would save the country . . . the world.