Living with dementia can be isolating for both patients and their families. As social interactions get awkward, people begin to withdraw. Not only do their memories fade, but people themselves begin to fade from view.
Marcie Sillman talks with Kevin Bovenkamp, assistant secretary for the Health Services Division at Washington's Department of Corrections, about the new challenges prisons are facing with a rapidly aging population including elder care, hospice services and assisted living.
Memory loss is one of the symptoms of dementia. So is wandering. Over the last five years, at least 10 people in Washington state have died after wandering away from where they live. It’s a problem that communities will have to confront as the population ages. But not all police departments are prepared for these kinds of incidents.
There are different challenges when searching for people with dementia than for other missing person cases. Certain kinds of information play a key role, too. For example, when an elderly person is reported missing medical information is critical; it can mean the difference between life and death.
By 2030, seniors will make up more than 20 percent of Washington state’s population. Are we ready to care for the elderly? What’s it going to mean for federal programs like Medicare? Ross interviews economist Dean Baker and labor activist Ai’jen Poo.