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

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