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September is World Alzheimer’s Month

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
09/17/13  10:30 PM PST
World Alzheimers Month

In September, we recognize World Alzheimer’s Month to honor the millions of individuals, family members and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that causes brain cells to degenerate and die, leading to a decline in memory function and thinking skills.

By the Numbers

Approximately 36 million people are believed to be living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias worldwide.   In America alone, more than 5 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s disease.  By 2050, nearly 14 million (13.8 million) Americans could be living with the disease, and worldwide numbers could exceed 115 million.  It is estimated that nearly 500,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease will be diagnosed this year.  One in every three seniors passes away with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but there are treatments for symptoms that can improve quality of life for individuals, family members and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s.  The search for a cure continues worldwide.

The Role of Caregivers

More than 15.4 million Americans provide unpaid care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  Unpaid caregivers are usually immediate family members or other relatives and friends. In 2012, these caregivers provided an estimated 17.4 billion hours of unpaid care.

Whether professional or unpaid, caregivers for those with Alzheimers and Dementia face special challenges and need a great deal of support.  There are many tools and resources available online for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, including support groups, tools for managing caregiver stress, home care training and care options, financial and legal planning advice and much more.  The Alzheimer’s Association provides links to caregiver support and assistance in their online Caregiver Center.

Learn more about Alhzeimer’s Disease, including warning signs and treatment options, in Shield HealthCare’s Caregiver Community.

Source information for this article was provided by the Alzheimer’s Association, Brightfocus.org and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

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