Every 70 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
5.3 million people are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is now the sixth leading cause of death
There are 9.9 million unpaid caregivers in America
One in eight people over the age of 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s
(from the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures)
Alzheimer’s is a disease that touches each one of us in one way or another; whether we care for a loved one with the disease, have experienced the pain of watching a parent or grandparent slowly lose themselves to it, or live with the fear of being diagnosed with it ourselves. With one in eight people aged 65 or older already suffering from Alzheimer’s and another person diagnosed every 70 seconds, we can no longer to afford to bury our heads in the sand and hope that Alzheimer’s will pass over our family. It’s time to bring the disease into the light.
Bringing Alzheimer’s into the light is exactly what Maria Shriver is doing with her moving article in the Huffington Post and with her children’s book, What’s Happening to Grandpa? Shriver isn’t the only one who feels that Alzheimer’s deserves more attention; HBO aired their Alzheimer’s Project this past weekend, featuring, among other things, a four part documentary series.
Although the facts about this disease are frightening—especially as the Baby-Boomers near the age of 65—a common theme among experts and activists is optimism and hope. The more the public is aware of Alzheimer’s and its implications for their own futures and families, the more can be done not only for victims of Alzheimer’s themselves and in the search for treatment, but also in support of caregivers and loved ones.