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 the caregivers and for some the 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 2012, slightly after my mother was showing her first signs of Alzheimer’s, there wasn't much awareness. With little information available, it was easy to mistake unusual behavior for personal signs of aging. Creating awareness, providing services of care for patients, families and caregivers is important. Alzheimer's affects everyone.
Renee's READERS is a passionate supporter of Alzheimer's research and support services.