The symptoms typically begin slowly and without great fan-fare. Misplaced keys, difficulty remembering names, forgetting important events – innocent happenings that often take place in busy, overstressed, overscheduled lives. But when these events begin to happen on a more regular basis, typically to an older loved one, the red flags begin to fly.
Not all instances of forgetfulness are cause for alarm, but as our awareness of age related disease has grown, words like dementia and Alzheimer’s have become somewhat commonplace. However, without first-hand experience with the aging population, many of us do not know what to do when faced with this situation for the first time.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.
This is where the Alzheimer’s Association steps in. They are the premier “go to” leader for advocacy, research and support for people with Alzheimer’s disease, families, and the medical community. The Association offers resources such as its 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900); an online Caregiver Center (alz.org/care); ALZConnected (alzconnected.org), a virtual community for caregivers to connect with one another; and Alzheimer’s Navigator (alzheimersnavigator.org), where people facing Alzheimer’s disease can create an action plan to meet their specific needs.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia affecting more than 5 million people in the United States and 44 million worldwide. 95% of all people affected are at least 65 years old and with the advancement in medical technology allowing us to live longer, these numbers will continue to escalate at alarming rates. The sheer magnitude of this appears daunting, but the Alzheimer’s Association, who is recognized as the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, is poised for the challenge.
Most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information.
Their mission is “to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health”. They consistently advance toward this goal through the hard work and passion of dedicated employees and volunteers. Headquartered in Chicago with local chapters throughout the country, thousands of caring individuals coordinate each and every aspect of growing awareness and support to one day eliminate this disease forever.
1 in 9 older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information or to learn how you can “do a little big thing” visit www. alz.org.
By: Sally Stevenson