Here’s just a little bit of what we know:
- The first baby boomers will turn 65 years old in 2011.
- 76 million more Baby Boomers will turn 65 over the next 18 years and by the time each reaches 71 years old, he or she will have a 14 percent chance of having dementia.
- In the near future, there is projected to be no less than 10.6 million citizens living with dementia in the United States – other estimates project closer to 30 million Americans by 2050.
- With a population projection of 439 million in 2050, it is expected that 7 percent of our entire population will have a form of dementia.
These statistics are frightening, yet there is an eerie silence surrounding this issue. We are in the proverbial “calm before the storm,” and while I believe the term “crisis” is over used today, I can comfortably say that this situation presents an impending crisis.
Thirty million people is staggering. Inspired by the startling statistics and their benefactor Dorothy Clarke Patterson who had dementia in her later years, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) established a Debilitating Diseases: Dementia initiative.
TPF has chosen to make this one of nine strategic initiatives honoring the Patterson legacy. Because TPF is a New Realities foundation, its approach is different from other foundations, which provide grants on a regular basis. Instead, TPF seeks innovative ways to collaborate with others to leverage resources and efforts to transform communities.
Approximately eight months ago, we began our journey to explore and understand the management of dementia with the objective of identifying opportunities for TPF to use its resources to collaborate with the “best and brightest” from both the foundation and the healthcare worlds.
Our objectives, consistent with TPF tenets, include:
- Transforming the management of dementia by collaborating with and connecting the existing dots already operating in this space
- Exposing gaps in the management of dementia patients and sharing in the risks –both financial and operational –of narrowing these
- Learning and growing throughout the journey, and sharing our findings so that others can gain from our experience
We are using this blog, our Facebook page, website, Twitter and more to connect and collaborate with the many experts we have spoken with and to reach out to others we hope to meet. We believe that by bringing great minds together, we can develop solutions to the many challenges related to managing the dementia continuum of care. TPF is prepared to financially support a collaborative approach.
We look forward to learning, sharing, discussing and collaborating. Let’s get started. There are 30 million people we may be able to help.
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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