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The Emerging Workplace Dilemma: Employment & the Alzheimer’s Disease Continuum

By Jalayne J. Arias
The legal, ethical, and policy issues associated with employment of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease remain unsettled. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible, neurodegenerative illness. The typical age of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease generally affects older-adults, with the first symptoms appearing in the mid-sixties. However, a significant minority of individuals experience early age-of-onset Alzheimer’s disease, with symptoms appearing as early as the mid-thirties. Cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease may impede individuals’ memory, executive function, judgment, language, and vision. These cognitive domains are important to performing job related duties. Labor force trends and advancements in understanding disease processes are elevating the importance of resolving legal, ethical, and policy dilemmas at the crossroads of employment and Alzheimer’s disease. 
Individuals are working later in life (Bureau of Labor Statistics). …

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