One issue that is very important to me is the increasing risk of our beloved senior community developing the dreaded and debilitating Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s a concern I am all too familiar with in my own family. Some memory deficiencies are to be expected as we age, however this disease, which is NOT a normal part of aging, robs once vibrant members of our families and communities of more than just memories; it can potentially rob them of their joy and independence. The definition of the disease, as defined by the Alzheimer’s Association –
…a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
There are no known cures as of the writing of this post.
Startling statistics on the future of Alzheimer’s Disease
As my family navigates the “normal” and sometimes frustrating processes of aging, it makes me think of preventative care we can leverage to either manage the progression or to protect future generations. In the DIM program at Temple University, we look for ways Digital Innovations can help solve business problems; so, why not this? A look at the ALZ.org website yields some startling and concerning facts that this disease is not only NOT going away, but is potentially increasing in our population. I don’t know if it’s because the Baby Boomer generation is one of the largest portions of the population and a growing number of people are entering this phase of life, or if increased life-span, poor nutrition, even the decrease of an active lifestyle are exacerbating the issue.
Can a digital solution to this disease abate this growing phenomenon?
In the meantime, what can we do, from a digital perspective to decrease one’s likelihood of developing the disease? Activebeat.com recommends some of the following (along with proper nutrition and managed health):
- Playing word puzzles or digital games. This exercises the cognitive abilities and activates the memory centers. Maintaining an active mind is something well within our control.
- Meditation. There are apps that guide the user through a series of deep-breathing exercises with calming sounds or music. Even meditation for 12 minutes a day can do wonders to improve vascular circulation in seniors and lower stress levels. (activebeat.com, 2020)
- Be Social. Lastly, being socially engaged with loved ones, friends or the community, whether in person or by way of social engagement mediums, is a great way to stay connected. This also helps to develop a support system where others can share experiences or help to identify early on when there are memory concerns.
Over the course of the program, I will be exploring other digital tactics and strategies for addressing the prevention or management of this disease. According to Sodexo.com, Baby Boomers place a strong emphasis on their independence and are increasingly more comfortable with technology. We, as marketers, must keep this in mind when developing digital assets whether they are websites, mobile technology or smart devices. I am assured that developing a solid solution to combat this increasing issue would be well received and adopted.
What are some other preventative measures you think our senior community can take to reduce the risks of developing this illness?
*Reprinted from digitalmarketing.temple.edu
Inspiration and References
- 12 Ways to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.activebeat.com/your-health/12-ways-to-help-prevent-alzheimers-disease/
- Facts and Figures. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures
- Halpert, J. (2019, September 13). 7 new tech devices for elder care that help seniors live happier, healthier lives. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/12/7-new-tech-devices-for-that-help-seniors-live-happier-healthier-lives.html
- The future of seniors and digital technology. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sodexo.com/all-inspired-thinking/the-future-of-seniors-and-digita.html