Upon designation in 1983, the National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month initiative sought to support the less than 2 million people diagnosed at the time in the U.S. Today, the number has grown to more than 5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). By 2050, it is projected to soar to 1 4million and shows no signs of slowing down. This November, carve some time out and join the movement to advocate for Alzheimer’s.
AD in Numbers:
- AD is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- 1 in 10 people aged 65 or older has AD
- Older African Americans are twice as likely to develop AD than Caucasians
- More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for a loved one with AD
National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month focuses on creating public awareness around the symptoms, treatment, and coping for those diagnosed. It also commemorates a time to recognize and support the tireless efforts of caregivers of loved ones with AD or other dementias. AD affects everyone, not just those who have it. Here are some ways you can advocate for Alzheimer’s this month. A complete list of resources and events are available at https://www.alz.org/events.
- Know your risk. Learn the risk factors and warning signs.
- If you are over 65, get a free memory screen through Woodland Research
- Do your own memory walk
- Help raise funds for AD research
- Utilize caregiver resources
Advocate by Joining a Research Study
One of the reasons the numbers have grown so much in the last several decades is that funding from awareness events like these improves ways to detect, treat, and prevent AD. Clinical research studies and the volunteers that participate in them make these advancements possible. Through clinical research efforts, we are better at diagnosing AD, and in turn, providing a more accurate number of those affected.
We still have a long way to go, and it’s going to take all of us working together to end Alzheimer’s. If you have a probable diagnosis of AD or have symptoms beyond the normal age-related memory loss, upcoming research studies may be an option. Alzheimer’s isn’t the end. Your journey could hold the key to advancing the care and quality of life for those with AD or other dementias.