One-Third of Seniors Have Mental Decline

One-Third of Seniors Have Mental Decline

One-Third of Seniors Have Mental Decline 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

Article in Today’s Washington Post: By Rob Stein, reports on a new study published today in Annals of Internal Medicine, that “More than 5 million elderly people have a hard time remembering things, sorting through daily decisions and even sometimes knowing what day it is, according to the first national estimate of how commonly the minds of aging Americans are starting to fade.”

Using detailed evaluations of a nationally representative sample of 856 people ages 71 and older, the federally sponsored study concluded that 22 percent have begun to see their mental faculties decline, which translates into 5.4 million people.

“It’s a huge number,” said Brenda L. Plassman, a psychiatrist at Duke University Medical Center who led the study being published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “This is the first time we have an estimate of the number of Americans who have this condition,” she said, noting that the findings show that mild cognitive problems are as common as diabetes in this age group.”

That means 5 million people may need assistance at an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home. 5 million families will have to decide whether to seek outside care. 5 million families will have to find the money for care… no wonder corporations that own nursing homes are sprouting up all over the United States – people see this as big business! What a shame too – wish it could be profitable to provide better care, rather than simply profitable to care for more people.

About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

Back to top