What if you had no memory?
In some ways, that’s sounds great; you could forget the bad dates, the mistakes you kept making, the people you’d REALLY like to banish, and those horrid pictures from when you were a teen. However, Alzheimer’s does not just take away what you’d like to forget but instead tears you from loved ones, from hard-earned knowledge, and eventually, can even divide you from the simple act of swallowing or walking. Today, I joined a couple hundred walkers for the Orange County Alzheimer’s Association, raising some $75,000 to help support caregivers and educate the many. Even the dogs turned out in force! Here’s what we all MUST know:
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death among the top ten killers without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its ugly progression.For those of us providing care for loved ones (14.6 million families in 2010 with Alzheimer’s or other dementia,) we put in 17 billion hours of unpaid care-giving.This unpaid care has an economic value totally $ 202.6 billion in 2010Two-thirds of those with this horrid disease are women.An American develops Alzheimer’s every 69 seconds.Alzheimer’s has profound effects for government budgets: the cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total $183 billion in 2011. This is an $11 billion increase over 2010. NOTE: this does not roll in the free labor by family caregivers!!What is to be done:
Become informed about the diseaseAdvocate for researchMake sure this cost is part of the healthcare debateSupport your local Alzheimer’s associationVolunteerNext blog: how memories and creativity go a long way in helping!