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November 10, 2011

National Alzheimer ’s Disease Awareness Month

by PBUnitedWay

In November of 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans suffered from Alzheimer’s. Today, it is estimated that Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than 5 million Americans.

THE FACTS

  • In Palm Beach County there are more than 49,000 people affected by Alzheimer’s disease. In Martin County there are more than 6,400 people and close to 9,000 people in Saint Lucie County affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It is projected that the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease could more than triple to 16 million by mid-century.
  • An estimated 1 in 8 persons aged 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It is estimated that 1 to 4 family members act as caregivers for each individual with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Although Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, the risk of developing the illness rises with age. Current research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
  • As our population ages, the disease impacts a greater percentage of Americans. The number of people age 65 and older will more than double between 2000 and 2030 to 70.3 million or 20% of the U.S. population; likewise, those 85 and older will rise two-fold, to 8.9 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • It is estimated that about a half million Americans younger than age 65 have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. (This is referred to as young onset or early onset.)

Source: Alzheimer’s Community Care

YOU CAN HELP

  • Advocate: Contact your local government officials and let them know how you feel about issues such as…
    • Silver Alert Program
    • Standards of Care for Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Funding local, state and national programs to improve care, education and support for caregiver
  • Volunteer: Our member agency, Alzheimer’s Community Care, has a number of volunteer opportunities. Click here to find out more.
  • Participate in or host a fundraiser.
  • Attend local educational programs and seminars.
  • Make a donation.
  • Follow Alzheimer’s Community Care on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Share this blog with family and friends through social media and email.
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