When we hear the words “Alzheimer’s disease”, most of us do not ask what that means. With over five million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s in 2015, plus the millions who care for and love them, the disease has affected so many. The disease has been in the news and even been the theme of an award-winning Hollywood movie.
So, why do we need a month dedicated to awareness? There are things that can and need to be done. November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, so let’s take a look.
We need to find a cure. Alzheimer’s disease is incurable and unpreventable. The search for the cure and for effective prevention is on and there is much more work to be done. We are still far from a cure and more and more people are going to be affected.
Support is available. Alzheimer’s is often detected too late for effective treatment and Alzheimer’s sufferers and their caregivers are not always aware of the resources available. We need to reach more people with support and increase awareness of what can be done.
Adult day can be an integral part in caring for somebody who has
Alzheimer’s. While we haven’t come very far in treatment, from a drug standpoint, we have made leaps and bounds in treatment from a person-centered standpoint. Alzheimer’s disease affects the entire family. It is important to find support for the whole family.
When someone is enrolled in our program, we get to know them. We do a personal video care plan for each participant and gear our activities and daily routine to meet their needs. Plus, we provide education and support for their caregiver. – Tia Sauceda, Director SRC Adult Day & Respite Services
Alzheimer’s is extremely expensive. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease will cost well over $200 million dollars to our nation this year and by 2050, it is estimated that it will cost us over $1 trillion. The cost in pain and suffering is inestimable. Alzheimer’s is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S.
The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million — a 40 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 and older affected in 2015. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple . . . to a projected 13.8 million. – www.alz.org/facts
However, there are ways to begin to treat Alzheimer’s and there are steps that can be taken which may manage risk factors. More and more people will be affected by the disease in the coming years and increasing resources will be needed for care. We need more awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s in order to do everything we can to support those dealing with the disease and, ultimately, to find a cure.
About National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: The awareness month was started by President Reagan in 1982. Here’s his proclamation outlining why we need to raise awareness. The issues he raises have only become greater over time.