Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in US Focuses on Caregivers, Resources and Education

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in US Focuses on Caregivers, Resources and Education
0
(0)

Efforts are underway this month to focus attention on Alzheimer’s (AD), a disease that, along with other forms of dementia, affects some 44 million people globally and is rapidly growing in prevalence.

During November in the U.S., Alzheimer’s Awareness Month observances include online tributes to caregivers, listings of educational and support resources, and a way to contribute to research.

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 5.8 million U.S. residents today live with Alzheimer’s — someone develops it every 65 seconds — and this figure projected to more than double to 14 million by 2050. Other statistics: Some 5.3 million patients today are at least age 65, and roughly two-thirds are women.

As the population ages, the disease will impact even greater numbers of people. Its prevalence among those age 65 and older is expected double every five years. This year alone in the U.S., AD and other dementias are expected to cost $290 billion. By 2050, those costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion.

For its part, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is encouraging people to be mindful that Alzheimer’s is truly a disease — not a normal part of aging. It is a degenerative brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and language skills.

The AFA also urges individuals to speak up when someone begins to exhibit warning signs, such as getting lost going to familiar places, frequently forgetting friends’ or relatives’ names, show mood and personality changes, or repeatedly misplace things, lose track of time, or struggle to solve problems or complete everyday tasks.

A diagnosis given in Alzheimer’s early stages allows patients to begin treatments earlier that might help to slow disease progression. It also can afford individuals time to enroll in clinical trials working toward more effective therapies, and to take an active role in their medical, financial and legal decisions, the AFA said.

The organization also wants patients and the more than 16 million unpaid U.S. caregivers to realize that they are not alone — help is available. The AFA Helpline is staffed by social workers trained in dementia care; they are available at 866-232-8484 or through this site.

Although what causes Alzheimer’s is not totally clear, the AFA reminds people that risk can be reduced through lifestyle changes that include a healthy diet, regular exercise and social activity, cognitive stimulation, tobacco avoidance and moderate alcohol intake.

“Raising awareness starts from within,” said Charles J. Fuschillo Jr., AFA president and CEO, in a news release. “As we work together to educate others about Alzheimer’s disease throughout November, there are things everyone should be aware of, regardless of whether Alzheimer’s is in their lives.”

The Alzheimer’s Association joins in honoring caregivers throughout November — which is also National Family Caregivers Month — with a request for thoughts from or about caregivers.

Among those who have sent tributes are Richard Lui. “My mom is my dad’s caregiver. She is a hidden hero,” Lui wrote on the caregivers’ page. “All caregivers are.” Yvette Nicole Brown gave this advise to others: “As a caregiver, being prepared makes all the difference for you and your loved one.”

Elsewhere, SeniorLiving.org, a product and services resource for older adults, is observing the month by offering caregiver tips that may help their loved one with AD. These include maintaining a daily routine, presenting one idea at a time, always being reassuring, and not yelling or arguing. If a patient begins to do things dangerous, such as as wandering off or forgetting to turn off the stove, it may be time to consider a memory care facility, the group said.

The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation offers information about AD, including clinical stages, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and drug treatment and research. It’s also providing suggestions and information for caregivers, as well as a Facebook Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month was designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. At the time, there were fewer than 2 million U.S. residents with the disease.

Worldwide, an awareness month for Alzheimer’s is recognized in September.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
Total Posts: 282
Ana holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Lisbon and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated with a BSc in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received a Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England. After leaving the lab to pursue a career in Science Communication, she served as the Director of Science Communication at iMM.
×
Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
Latest Posts
  • children's storybook about Alzheimer's
  • UsAgainstAlzheimer’s
  • HFC CareCon
  • Alzheimer's and Blacks in US

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?