Someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds. The month of June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Today, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and by 2050, it is projected that up to 14 million Americans will have the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that kills nerve cells and tissue in the brain, and this disease affects an individual’s ability to remember, think and plan. As the disease advances, the brain shrinks dramatically due to cell death. Individuals lose their ability to communicate, recognize family and friends and care for themselves. Currently, there is no way to prevent, cure or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
In addition to the toll the disease takes on individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, the disease exacts a heavy mental, emotional, financial and often physical toll on caregivers and families. The numbers on the financial costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s are staggering. In 2018, caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the United States will cost an estimated $277 billion. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by 2050 the cost of care for Alzheimer’s patients could rise as high as $1.1 trillion.
As the numbers above make plain, without a change, the number of people with Alzheimer’s and the costs of care for individuals with Alzheimer’s will rise dramatically within the next decade. Everyone with a brain is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but everyone can help to end this epidemic — especially you. During the month of June, which is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Association asks people around the world to take the Purple Pledge and use their brains to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. You can join the Alzheimer’s Association on June 21 and participate in The Longest Day, a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor those facing Alzheimer’s with strength, passion and endurance. Find out more information about Alzheimer’s and join the fight at www.alz.org.
If you are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, there is a 24-hour telephone support program that offers specialized information about Alzheimer’s disease, community resources, emotional support, referrals and follow-up counseling services. The Helpline Number is 1-800-272-3900.
On June 21, let’s join together and show our love for all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Representative Bob Trammell Jr. represents the citizens of District 132, which includes portions of Coweta, Meriwether and Troup counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 and currently serves as House Minority Leader.