Drudge Report editor, Joseph Curl, predicts dementia and death decisions will soon be major political issues touching "Every. Single. Person." In his column on Sunday, Curl posits that behind every parent who suffers from dementia or is an Alzheimer victim, there is likely a heartbroken family who may individually reach a moment of profound truth, "You yearn for them to die."
Curl is coping personally with the raw emotions of his mother's dementia. The details of organizing things, tying up loose ends, readying his parent's home to sell may not be easy for Curl; however, it pales in comparison to trying to be grateful his mom only "sees things, hallucinations." Others have their own nightmarish experiences. A lady who helped him clean told of how her dad, also suffering from dementia, spent his nights screaming "all night, every night."
Curl takes his readers on a poignant walk to the emotional bill that comes due because of the "mind-destroying maladies that beset our parents and grandparents in their old age." In his sad Washington Times column, Curl shared depressing details from conversations with a tile man and a carpet layer. He learned of hospice horror, of events sad enough to make one wish for release sooner rather than later for their loved one.
Musing, Curl suggested that just as teenage years prepares parents and children for the day the apron strings are cut, so does dementia ready children for letting their parents go. Curl concluded that in the same manner, the overwhelming millions of baby boomers who will live on to become victims of dementia will prepare America for a national political conversation about coming to grips with "when and how," we choose to die.
A recent Drudge Report headline warned of a looming dementia epidemic, citing dementia as the number one health fear. More encouraging, another Drudge Report headline featured a study which cited a 25 percent decrease in dementia rates in the last two decades. This study offers a whisper of hope amid an avalanche of depressing news regarding lack of medical breakthroughs for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Back in 2011, with no cure in sight for either, President Barack Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) into law. NAPA was updated in 2014. One stated purpose of the law is "to improve the ability of the federal government to track the monetary costs incurred by individuals and public programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, that result from dementia." A stated goal in the update is to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025.
Curl's story is riveting, be sure to read it. Hold on the memory for the next time an article about dementia or Alzheimer's disease is promoted on the Drudge Report. Until a cure is discovered, living wills may be the responsible compromise between "death panels" and politics, an act of mercy for loved ones.
In the meantime, Curl, like millions of sons and daughters, is dealing with dementia up close and personal. Which goes to illustrate, behind every political headline may be millions of individual stories about hard choices defining who Americans are, have been and will become. Since 2002, the Drudge Report has provided over 85 headlines on Alzheimer's disease, 23 about dementia, and 36 about "death panels."