Alzheimer's disease afflicts an estimated 5.4 million Americans; 5.2 million aged 65 and over, and 200,000 under the age of 65. Alzheimer's is now the 6th leading cause of death in the US and the only major cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. As the population of people living longer grows so will the number of Alzheimer's patients and the astronomical costs of treating and caring for them. If the current progression of the disease continues, its estimated that by 2050, 16 million people will have the disease. A key to fighting the physical, mental, and financial costs of the disease is raising awareness.
September is World Alzheimer's Month and today is Alzheimer's Action Day. Events throughout the county are helping to build a greater understanding of what the disease is, break the stigma of diagnosis, and support more research & develop of treatments and a cure. The Alzheimer's Association offers a schedule of upcoming events as well resources for those suffering from the disease and their caregivers.
In episode three of Your Turn To Care, Sonya Alvarado shared her story of caring for her mom, Natalia, who has Alzheimer's. At first caring for her mother at home was manageable. But as her mother's Alzheimer's disease progressed, it became clear to Sonia that she needed help both for her mother and for herself. A similar story can be heard from countless caregivers who struggle everyday to care for their loved ones and often loose sight of caring for themselves.
For more information on World Alzheimer's Month and Alzheimer's Action Day check out the Alzheimer's Association Go Purple Page.