Elderly and Autonomy

Some studies predict that nearly half of all Americans who reach the age of eighty-five will experience symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease, including memory loss and confused thinking. NPR's Wendy Schmelzer reports that even mild dementia can be a serious problem — not only for the person affected, but for his or her family. Care can be very expensive. And it can be hard to ensure the safety of a person who is forgetful, or who tends to wander off. But the biggest battles between adult caregivers and their elderly relatives often concern issues of autonomy and control.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.