Letter: The Greatest Generation vs. Alzheimers

To The Editor: About 5 million members of my generation, the Greatest Generation, or the Silent Generation, have some form of dementia.

 

We are the elderly group of Americans who worked hard, paid into Social Security, loved our country, fought for our country when needed, saved for our old age as best we could, enjoyed life, and tried to help our neighbors when they needed help.

Now we are forgotten, abused, ignored, starved, scammed, isolated, deserted, and robbed. Many of us are now headed to bankruptcy because our spouse has dementia and we did not save enough for their $60,000-$120,000 annual bill in a Memory Care or Alzheimer’s facility.

While career politicians work on increasing their salary, benefits, pensions, net worth, and reelection, we worry about how much longer we have before bankruptcy. 

While younger politicians work on calculating the final date Social Security runs our of money, we wonder what our monthly payment would have been if our money had not been robbed out of the SS Fund.

While AARP estimates that Alzheimer’s annual cost to families is about $360 billion annually, we wonder why cancer, HIV/AIDS, and heart research get considerably more research money than Alzheimer’s.

While my government never runs our of money for welfare, illegal immigrants, foreign aid for those countries who hate America, and those in America who don’t want to work, we wonder why our elderly generation doesn’t qualify for some financial assistance before we go bankrupt.

While dementia has been around for hundreds of years, we wonder why the only comments from world health organizations for preventing it are to eat healthy over your life span.

While government financial aid is always available for low income and illegal citizens, we wonder why there is no help for our generation who made a genuine effort to save for our elderly years.

While dementia fundraising groups do an excellent job publishing guides and instructions for caretakers, we wonder when somebody will attack the real problem and develop a cure.

While death row prisoners have free food, housing, healthcare, hearing aids, teeth, hearts, sex change, and TV, we wonder why we continue to be ignored.

While our spouse’s condition continues to deteriorate and the medicine increases to keep them manageable, we wonder how much longer it will be before their brain says enough is enough.

While the failure rate is 100% for drug development and 99% for new disease modifying therapy, we wonder why there is still no prevention and no cure.

In the meantime, please pray for our spouses and us, and that dementia will be solved soon.

 

Jim Barton

Laurens, S.C.

 

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