More Than Half of Older Adults Concerned About Alzheimer’s According to New Oak Street Health Survey
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month Survey Reveals Various Ways Older Adults Are Working to Stay Mentally Sharp
CHICAGO, IL - June 10, 2021 - June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and Alzheimer’s affects more than 6 million people in the U.S., meaning that 1 out of every 55 Americans today is living with the disease. Oak Street Health (NYSE: OSH), a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare, surveyed 1,000 older adults, aged 65+, in order to uncover insights from older adults’ about their understanding of Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as how they are addressing the potential of developing early signs.
The results of the survey show that Alzheimer’s and dementia are real concerns for older adults, whether it runs in the family or not. More than half the respondents (56%) stated they were either somewhat or very concerned about developing the cognitive diseases later in life. Respondents plan, however, to take steps to act on those concerns, as 68% of participants reported they would consider getting tested for the gene variants found in Alzheimer patients.
The survey also found that older adults are making an active effort to keep their brains sharp in order to ward off the potential progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the most common activities older adults engage in to keep their mind active include:
Games or puzzles (66%)
Crosswords or other word puzzles (55%)
Older adults are making these activities part of their daily routines, as 88% of respondents said they’ll do at least one of these activities every day to stay mentally agile.
“It’s important for older adults to find activities and tasks that create joy and fulfillment, but also increase brain health and work to reduce the potential for cognitive decline while aging,” said Katherine Suberlak, VP of Clinical Services at Oak Street Health. “Like a muscle, conducting daily brain exercises will help sustain and even increase cognitive abilities. These exercises can be as simple as completing a crossword puzzle, reading a few pages from a book, or socializing with friends and family, but can make a significant difference in maintaining a healthy and happy quality of life long term.”
Oak Street Health is committed to an open and ongoing dialogue between patient and provider regarding early signs of Alzheimer’s. Care providers encourage older adults, or the loved ones of older adults, to monitor for any early warning signs such as confusion and anxiety, in order to address these and discuss measures to mitigate.
“As providers, we are continuing to learn more and more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, and we are consistently finding ways to share this information with our patients and ultimately support their brain health,” said Suberlak “It’s important to us at Oak Street Health that our patients and their caregivers leave the center with the right knowledge and support to maintain healthy, functioning cognitive abilities.”
To learn more about Oak Street Health’s value-based primary care model, click here.
About Oak Street Health
Founded in 2012, Oak Street Health is a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare. With a mission of rebuilding healthcare as it should be, the Company operates an innovative healthcare model focused on quality of care over volume of services, and assumes the full financial risk of its patients. Oak Street Health currently operates more than 90 centers across 13 states. To learn more about Oak Street Health’s proven approach to care, visit oakstreethealth.com.
Erica Frank, Vice President of Public Relations
Oak Street Health
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