November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregiver’s Month. From 1983 when Alzheimer’s Awareness Month first began, until now, the number of those with Alzheimer’s disease has grown by more than 3 million people in the U.S. alone. The number worldwide with dementia and Alzheimer’s is estimated to be approximately 5 million. The global cost of Alzheimer’s is more than two billion a year and many people with the disease have yet to be diagnosed.
Did you know?
- Almost twice as many women have Alzheimer’s disease than men. Brain shrinkage seems to be more severe in women with the disease and there may also be causes for Alzheimer’s in women that are not yet known.
- Having heart disease increases your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s has also been linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a poor diet and a non-active lifestyle.
- The better educated you are and the more you learn as you age, the less your risks are of developing Alzheimer’s. Keep your brain active as you age.
- People with Alzheimer’s disease may lose their sense of smell. This can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease and can also be a sign of Parkinson’s disease.
- Early onset Alzheimer’s can begin as early as age 30.
- For caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, depression, financial issues and mental stress are more common than in caregivers of other patients.
- A definite cause for Alzheimer’s disease has still not been found. Though plaques grow in the brain it is still not known what causes these plaques. The following have been suggested: lack of sleep, aluminum, obesity and genetics.
- Less than half of Alzheimer’s patients are told they have the disease.
This November take part in events in your community that will help others become aware of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. For more information on the disease and ways you can take part, click here.