Could President Biden falling asleep be due to other health issues?

Health

FILE – In this April 29, 2016, Pope Francis shakes hands with former Vice President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It’s been a long past week in more ways than one for President Joe Biden.

In addition to dealing with a very busy domestic agenda, he has been in Europe since the end of last week doing everything from visiting Pope Francis last week to attending summits on international trade and climate change.

It’s enough to make anyone a bit tired.

Many have criticized the President’s cognitive abilities due to moments of him stumbling over words and most recently falling asleep during COP26 speeches in Scotland on Monday. According to a video shared by a reporter for The Washington Post Biden appeared to have closed his eyes for a few short seconds.

On Oct. 29, President Biden officially declared in a proclamation that November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. He expressed his concerns for the millions of Americans and family members and friends who are and have been affected by this serious illness.

Although, Biden’s goal is to raise national awareness of Alzheimer’s disease it seems as though he may be raising awareness of his own underline health issues.

The declaration read, in part: “For more than 6 million Americans and the family members and friends who love them, Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating.  This common form of dementia is a cruel and fatal condition that erodes the ability to think, to recall precious memories, and to live independently.  During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we stand with all those families confronting this challenging disease and recommit ourselves to improving treatment and finding a cure.

Although one of Biden’s many goal is to raise national awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, it seems as though he may be raising awareness of his own underline health issues. It is a daunting task to be commander in chief of the United States and can be humanly exhausting for anyone to sit through an entire speech without nodding off.

There have been other instances where Biden has fallen asleep and fumbled with his words. Back in 2011, it was in question if he fell asleep during President Obama’s speech on deficit reduction.

The Pitt County Council on Aging — whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for adults by providing access to a continuum of services, programs, and resources that promote healthy living and independence — provided expert advice on the subject matter.

Here are some possible reasons why Biden may have fallen asleep at the summit from a conversation with Rich Zeck who is the Executive Director for The Pitt County Council on Aging:

What’s a typical age-related change to memory loss?

“Age isn’t always the determining factor when it comes to cognitive decline. People under significant amounts of stress can lead to potential accelerated amounts of stress.”

Do you think Biden falling asleep could be a sign or symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease?

“Not necessarily he could’ve just been really tired.”

What about his difficulty with words in speaking or writing?

“People get a loss for words when they’re flustered.”

Here are three big solutions Zeck offers their seniors in the Pitt County area to reduce stress.

  • Take a vacation for a week with no phone.
  • Do fun activities like knitting or crocheting.
  • Eating and drinking properly.

According to National Today, “AD ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the most common form of dementia in 60-80% of all diagnosed cases. Here are some ways you can observe National Alzheimer’s disease awareness month. We all will become senior citizens at some point in our lives and begin to personally experience memory loss or witness a loved one who battles it.”

Here are some ways to observe National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month:

  • Take a memory walk – You may want to take some time to jog your memory with a walk around the neighborhood
  • Get screened – If you’re having signs of possible AD, you may want to seek help from a doctor and get screened. The National Memory Screening Program allows you to answer a list of questions to see if you or someone you know may potentially have Alzheimer’s Disease. 
  • Donate – Get involved and join the fight, funding helps develop new medications to slow the effects of the disease.

Click here for more information from the Pitt County Council on Aging.

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