By Jo Ann Jenkins
Dementia is not a subject that produces a lot of good news and even when it does there tends to be a caveat attached — a qualifier, a “but.” Case in point: media reports last weekof a study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, finding that the percentage of Americans age 65-plus who suffer from dementia declined by one-and-a-half percentage points, from 12% to 10.5%, over the 12-year period studied. It was good news, to be sure.
But here’s the caveat: over the same 12-year period the total number of people suffering from dementia in the United States grew, significantly, and now sits at nearly 6 million. In other words, although a slightly smaller percentage of older people are developing dementia, the skyrocketing size of the 65+ population means that, overall, there are more people with dementia — lots more.