A small gesture can raise awareness on an important issue. Wearpurplethis Friday, September 21 in support ofAlzheimer’s Action Day.Thousands will be wearingpurpleto raise awareness about the disorder and highlight the need for more education, research and support to help find a cure.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness that destroys brain cells, resulting in declines in thinking, memory and reasoning abilities. It’s much different than the normal process of aging. Estimates are that more than 5.4 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after symptoms become noticeable.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the country and cannot be prevented or cured. 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease. Early onset Alzheimer’s affects people younger than age 65. Nearly 4% of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s have early onset.
More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care valued at $210 billion for persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the US in 2012.
It’s also important to note that the effects of the disease do not stop with the diagnosed patient. Alzheimer’s disease has a far-reaching impact on friends, family members, and those who provide care for the person suffering from the illness. Caregiving has often been described as one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, jobs in existence today. Several programs have been developed in an effort to help caregivers cope with the demands associated with providing care for a loved one with dementia. One such guidebook offered by the National Institute on Aging provides information on the stages of the illness, as well as many of the more common issues that caregivers are confronted with during the disease process.
Start looking through your closet for thatplum tie, eggplant polo, lilac sweater or violet blouseto wear onAlzheimer's Action Daythis Friday and help raise awareness to a disease affecting million of Americans and their caretakers.
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