Monday, May 6, 2019

Subjective Cognitive Decline in Colorado

One in nine Colorado adults over 45 years old have Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD), the self-reported experience of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss. This form of cognitive impairment is one of the earliest noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. 

The presence of a chronic disease, like diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and others, is related to cognitive decline and in Colorado, nearly 75% of people with SCD have at least one chronic condition. For more, read CDC's report on SCD here and check out the Healthy Aging Data Portal here

SCD can have implications for living with and managing chronic disease, impacting a person's ability to perform everyday activities like cooking or cleaning or more involved activities like effectively managing medication regimens.

Family and friends often step in to provide additional needed supports, which can result in increased stress and worsening of their own chronic conditions. In Colorado, over 21% of adults over aged 45 report being a caregiver to a friend or family member. Of these caregivers, over 37% report having 2 or more chronic diseases themselves. Read CDC's related report on Caregiving here.

What can Colorado do? 

Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) is a public health issue and public health has a role in alleviating its impact. 
  1. Increase awareness that dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is not a normal part of aging.
  2. Increase awareness about the importance of managing chronic diseases, including conditions associated with coronary heart disease or stroke, among people with SCD and at all stages of dementia.
  3. Encourage patients and health care professionals to discuss SCD during routine medical office visits.
  4. Increase messaging that emphasizes both the important role of caregivers and the importance of maintaining caregivers’ health and well-being.
  5. Encourage caregivers to get regular check-ups, use preventive services and engage in self-care to maintain health.
  6. Ensure that caregivers with a disability and/or chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure have access to self-management programs to maintain their health.
Interested in learning more: There's a national roadmap!

No comments:

Post a Comment