President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, there were less than 2 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, the number has more than doubled to 5.7 million Americans. Learn more about the Alzheimer’s epidemic and how you can show your support for Alzheimer’s awareness this month.
The Alzheimer’s Epidemic in the United States
National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month is a call for Americans to pay attention to the epidemic that is raging throughout the country. Affecting nearly 15 million people, including caregivers and people living with the disease, chances are you have been personally impacted by the Alzheimer’s epidemic. The Alzheimer’s Association recently related their 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures to reveal the following statistics about Alzheimer’s in the United States:
- Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease
- 5.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
- By 2050, an estimated 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s
- Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia
- In 2018, unpaid caregivers provided 18.4 billion hours of care, valued at over $232 billion
- The estimated lifetime cost of care for someone living with dementia is $341,840
- Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s could potentially save the country $7.9 trillion
5 Ways to Commemorate National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
There’s no question that we need a cure for Alzheimer’s. Learn how you can play an active role in the search for a cure while raising awareness this month.
1. Submit an online tribute to a caregiver
Many people caring for those with dementia are unpaid, family caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association has set up a website where tributes can be left for these caregivers so they know they are appreciated. Share your personal tribute and read through the inspiring and selfless stories of other caregivers to understand more about everyday sacrifices family caregivers are making for loved ones with dementia.
2. Participate in a Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Many communities will be hosting a Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the month of November. As the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s, walks are held in more than 600 communities across the country. Find a walk near you using the Alzheimer’s Association’s walk locator.
3. Wear purple throughout the month
Purple is the official color of Alzheimer’s Awareness. Wearing purple and encouraging others to do the same is a great conversation starter that can raise awareness. Wearing clothing items with #ENDALZ or Alzheimer’s Association apparel is a great way to let others know about the epidemic.
4. Petition the government for change
Become an advocate for Alzheimer’s research. From sending emails to legislators, posting updates on Facebook, hosting events, and meeting in-person with elected officials, you can make a difference. The Alzheimer’s Association has put together Advocacy Basics for people looking to get involved on a policy level and initiate change in federal funding.
5. Make a financial donation
Financial donations to help people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers are tax deductible and are a tangible and practical way to help someone in need. Financial donations can also be made to Alzheimer’s research organizations, funding studies that are otherwise under-funded can be a game changer and help researchers understand more about the pathology of Alzheimer’s, hopefully leading to a world free of dementia.
How will you commemorate National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.