The Great Generation benefited from a whole raft of social safety bets and social support systems that improved living conditions and overall health. As a result, even though more people were living longer, the actual percentage of older people who suffered from dementia went down! Yes. Rates of Alzheimer's and other dementias were on the decline.
But the social conditions that stimulated these improvements in brain health began to be dismantled in the Reagan administration, and the ascendence of hyper-capitalism and market-driven policies has accelerated.
Medical anthropologist Daniel. R. George explains that dementia is yet again on the rise. By placing profits above the welfare of the people, these "neoliberal" policies have create huge inequalities in wealth, in access to healthcare, education and healthy food. They have undermined the infrastructure of the country and poisoned the environments in which we live. All of which undermines the health of our bodies and brains.