November was Alzheimer’s Awareness Month


The need for increased awareness about Alzheimer’s disease is growing. The number of Alzheimer’s patients has increased since 1983, the year President Reagan designated November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Currently, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 1983 there were under two million people in the U.S. living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, the number has increased to almost six million people. The WHO estimates that the total number of people worldwide with Alzheimer’s or dementia is approximately fifty million individuals.

Yes, numbers help quantify a disease, but it is the “boots on the ground” that help create an effective medication or a cure. That is the goal of awareness efforts. It is to educate people about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s so people may identify these symptoms in their loved ones if and when they occur.

Walking for a Cure

During Awareness Month and throughout the year, the Alzheimer’s Association organizes “memory walks” developed to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and to raise funds for research.

A National Memory Screening Program is available throughout the nation that provides memory screenings in confidence to those who may be interested.

Symptoms may include difficulty solving problems, confusing a place or time, completing tasks, misplacing things, decrease in judgment, withdrawal from social activities, and mood changes.

Awareness activities during the month of November are meant to put the year-round efforts of the Alzheimer’s Foundation in the spotlight. The activities also create awareness of almost five times that number when counting family members who are caring for their loved ones and coping with Alzheimer’s disease.

Projecting into 2060, it is estimated that 13.8 million people living in the U.S. will have Alzheimer’s disease and another 11 million individuals will be providing unpaid caregiver hours for their relatives.

The Alzheimer’s Association reminds us that Alzheimer’s is not to be considered normal aging. The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age. For many years, it was even thought to be Senile Dementia and considered a natural occurrence.

Throughout the year, and especially during the month of November, please be aware of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and join the fight against it. This is something everyone can do.

Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 HELPLINE is: 800.272.3900

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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