Why You Should Care About Alzheimer’s

2 Feb

Alzheimer’s Disease.

We’ve all heard about it, some of us may remember a loved one who had the disease, and a few of us may be or have been caretakers for those loved ones.

It’s hard to think about Alzheimer’s, I get that.  It’s hard for the young to think about growing old, about dying, and even harder to think about being old with no idea who you and those around you are.  No one wants to think about it, but we must.

So why should you care about it? 

  • Alzheimer’s is the SIXTH leading cause of death in the U.S.  And there’s currently nothing we can do about it.

  • Are you a woman? Because you’re more likely to get the disease.  Almost TWO-THIRDS of Americans with the disease are women, meaning it’s more likely that you, your mother, or your daughter will suffer this disease in their lifetime.
  • Because one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia.  ONE IN THREE.  That means if you are one of three children, statistically, the odds are that at least one of you will develop cognitive issues in your later years.
  • Out of the top 10 causes of death in America, Alzheimer’s is the ONLY cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.  Once you get it, you’ve got it, and you are totally at the mercy of the disease.  Or you mother is.  Or your father.  Or your spouse.
  • In the US, someone develops Alzheimer’s every 67 SECONDS.  To put this in perspective, over 50 people develop Alzheimer’s in the U.S. ALONE in the time it takes you to watch your favorite sit-com.  That is a staggering and terrifying number.
  • In 2015, Alzheimer’s cost the U.S. approximately $226 BILLION dollars… and by the year 2050, it is estimated that it will cost us $1.2 TRILLION.  That’s trillion with a ‘T’.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a growing crisis.

Everyone you love, everyone you know, and everyone you pass on the street is at risk for developing this horrible disease.  As someone who has helped care for one grandparent with Alzheimer’s and one grandparent with Dementia (as a result of strokes), I can assure you that this disease is indeed truly, painfully, devastating.

How You Can Help:

Monetary Donations:

  • Donate directly to the Alzheimer’s Association here.
  • Start a team and join a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s (sign up here)
  • Donate toward someone else’s walk. (You can donate toward my walk here)

Non-Monetary Ways To Help:

  • If you know a caregiver, give them moral support.  This job is unimaginably difficult, mentally and physically.  Caregivers often feel isolated from the rest of the world, so visits or phone calls are extremely helpful.
  • One of the biggest things I remember my mother and I wanting while we cared for my grandmothers was a respite.  To go to the grocery store, or simply take a walk alone, without the burden of caring for someone else every second.  If you can handle it, offer to sit with the person suffering from Alzheimer’s, even if it’s only long enough for the caretaker to take a walk around the block.  It will be appreciated more than you can ever know.  You must offer specifically, because most caregivers will not ask“Can I come sit with grandma Tuesday from 2 – 4 so you can run some errands or just have some time to yourself?” Simply telling them to call if they need you isn’t helping, because the caregiver will not ask.
  • Spread the word.  If someone you know is participating in a walk, share it.  Let others know and encourage them to donate.  These walks finance the research that may one day prevent you or someone you love from suffering with this disease, and a ‘share’ on social media doesn’t cost you a thing.
  • Learn about Alzheimer’s and help educate others.
  • SHARE THIS POST … by simply clicking share on this post, you can help spread Alzheimer’s awareness, so please share.

Thank you.

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