November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Caregivers Month
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 15 million caregivers are providing their care. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease with no cure that is eventually fatal. The number one risk factor is age. 1 in 9 Americans will develop Alzheimer’s past the age of 65 and 1 in 3 will have Alzheimer’s disease by age 85. 70% of all cases of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is currently the 6th leading cause of death is the US.
With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 each day in the US, a “silver tsunami” is headed for our shores
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in our country, costing the federal government $150 billion each year for patient care.
Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a woman past the age of 60 is twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as breast cancer. 2/3 of Alzheimer’s patients are women and 63% of caregivers are female.
The statistics are stark but there is hope!
Record numbers of cure and prevention clinical trials are underway. The U.S. adopted a National Alzheimer’s Plan in 2010 and research funding continues to increase.
Alzheimer’s is a huge productivity issue for American business and industry
Alzheimer’s disease costs businesses $61 billion per year. 81% of caregivers under the age of 65 are employed. 55% of primary caregivers are caring for aging parents. Family caregivers provide $220 billion in unpaid care annually. The stress of balancing work and family for Alzheimer’s caregivers can be overwhelming. 74% of caregivers report being somewhat to very concerned about maintaining their own health.
Resources are available in your community
The Alzheimer’s Association is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Visit alz.org/co and follow the “In My Area” tab to find educational classes and support groups. A 24/7 helpline is available at 800.272.3900. All services are provided at no cost to families living with Alzheimer’s disease.
During November, make a point of learning more about this heartbreaking and costly disease. Investigate workplace and community resources. And if you are an Alzheimer’s caregiver, reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association for help in learning to take care of yourself, not just during Caregiver Awareness month but every day of every month. Caring for yourself is the key to achieving the best quality of life for both you and your loved ones throughout your family’s Alzheimer’s journey.
To your health and wellbeing,
– The MINES Team