Right now, 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and the rate is rapidly rising as the country’s population continues to age. By 2025, the number of people 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million, a 40 percent increase from those affected in 2015. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the 10 leading causes of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression!
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a heart wrenching, draining experience as you see their personality change, memory erode and simple skills become impossible. Alzheimer’s is being described as the “defining disease of the baby boomer generation” as we are caregivers as well as patients.
Almost 60% of Alzheimer’s caregivers suffer extremely high levels of stress resulting in depression and their own health problems. Even if you are not directly involved with someone who has Alzheimer’s, this is a critical issue that must be dealt with aggressively because of the medical and financial burden it will have as the population ages. If Alzheimer's disease increases at its current rate, Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance and our savings will not cover the huge expense of the needed around the clock care. The answer lies in increasing funding in research so that a cure can be found.
On a personal note, when I started working on Renee’s Readers in around 2011, slightly after my mother was showing her first signs of Alzheimer’s, it was a disease that was spoken about in whispers. My brother and I cared for her determinedly, regardless of its physical and emotional stress, whose affects we still feel even after her death. In the last couple of years, so much progress has been made in creating awareness and in Alzheimer and caregiver support as the numbers of those diagnosed has risen dramatically. I am hopeful that soon a treatment may be available so that we can re-write the ending to this horror story that has affected so many people’s lives.
Renee's Readers donates a portion of each sale to Alzheimer's research and support services.