The man we knew as James Bond, actor Sean Connery, passed away at the age of 90 on October 31, 2020. What we didn't know was how the pain of dementia impacted his family.
Connery was the first British Secret Agent James Bond when he originated the role in 1962 in the movie "Dr. No." He starred in seven Bond movies from 1962 to 1983. He had many other roles in other movies, including "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," "The Hunt for Red October," "The Russia House," "The Rock," "Entrapment," "First Knight," "Just Cause," "The Avengers," and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."
Dementia Impacts Many Families
However, like many people – especially as they get older, Connery suffered from dementia. Micheline Roquebrune, his wife of 45 years, said it was no life for him as he was unable to express himself.
'He had dementia, and it took its toll on him. He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss,' Roquebrune told The Daily Mail.
A friend and Formula One driver, Sir Jackie Stewart, interviewed on Good Morning Britain said that Connery's dementia had taken a toll on him.
"He was an amazing man and a great, great friend. Of course, he was a star in movies. It is a great loss, and sadly he spent more than two years in a very large discomfort," Stewart said.
Stewart visited Connery often during his battle with dementia.
"Dementia is a terrible illness. I saw him not too long before he died, and it was a sad sight. I think Sean would have even preferred to slip away a wee bit earlier. He wasn't well," he explained.
Millions Worldwide Suffer from Dementia
There are many forms of dementia, including the most famous, Alzheimer's disease. In the United States alone, more than 5 million people of all ages have Alzheimer's. In the U.K., more than 850,000 have dementia. Over 747,000 Canadians also suffer from cognitive impairment.
There is no cure and very little treatment for dementia. As people progress, they require supervision and long-term care services.
This care cost is expensive, and it is not paid for by traditional health insurance, including Medicare and Medicare supplements. Medicaid, the medical welfare program, will pay for care for those who have little or no assets. Long-Term Care Insurance pays for this care, but you must purchase a policy before your health changes since it is medically underwritten. Most people purchase a policy in their late 40s or 50s.
Nearly 50 million people worldwide have dementia. Every year an additional 10 million people will get diagnosed, according to the World Health Organization. At first, people get disoriented and get lost, even in a familiar place. They may start not to recognize their own home, friends and family.
Later, people with dementia may have changes in their behavior, and they become unable to perform routine activities. They need help with personal care and cannot be left alone. Families often become the first caregivers. Caring for a person with dementia is very difficult for loved ones, and the caregivers suffer from anxiety and depression.
Is Your Family Prepared for Dementia?
Planning before a person retires reduces the financial and family pressures that dementia care and other long-term care service bring. Many American families will purchase affordable Long-Term Care Insurance to reduce the risk placed on their income and assets. The policies also reduce the burden and stress otherwise placed on family members.
Experts suggest planning before retirement. Start your research by reading The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide.
About the Author
Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.
Contributor since December 11th, 2017
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