On September 21, 2013, the world will celebrate Alzheimer’s Action Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the need for more funding, research, and support in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that causes severe cognitive decline in more than 18 million people globally, and is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Researchers suggest that by the year 2025, 34 million people will have developed Alzheimer’s. With more people living longer, the incidence rate of Alzheimer’s will continue to increase, and resources will continue to be strained. Alzheimer’s Action Day is a global cry for better healthcare for people with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia.
What Needs to Be Done to End Alzheimer’s
We have come a long way in advancing healthcare for Alzheimer’s disease in the past 30 years, but there is still so much to do in order to treat people with Alzheimer’s more effectively. Drug research needs to expand; there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and the medications available are largely ineffective in reversing cognitive decline. Increase of community support centers for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers is needed to meet ever increasing demands. Education on Alzheimer’s and gerontology in general needs to be revamped in medical, nursing, and other health related schools across the board. We need an increase in the number of doctors, nurses, home care workers, etc., that will help care for the expected 40% increase of people suffering from Alzheimer’s in the next decade. In 2013, Alzheimer’s costs totaled $203 billion, and that number will increase to $1.2 trillion by 2050. Medicare and Medicaid needs to be reformed in order to help families deal with rising costs of caring for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
What You Can Do To Raise Awareness/ End Alzheimer’s/ Alzheimer’s Action Day
There are many different ways you can support the cause to end Alzheimer’s. You and your friends and family members can wear purple on Alzheimer’s Action Day in a show of support for the movement. You can donate to the Alzheimer’s Association, which gives 76% of its funds to Alzheimer’s research, care, and advocacy. You can participate in various walks throughout the year that supports Alzheimer’s awareness. Calling your local and state officials about Alzheimer’s can help raise the national conscious on the coming Alzheimer’s epidemic. Most importantly, you can help end the social stigma attached to Alzheimer’s and encourage people in your community to take steps in recognizing the risk factors and signs associated with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Action Day is a call to end Alzheimer’s. Demos Health Publishing has a wide array of Alzheimer’s resources that contain valuable information on caring and treating people with Alzheimer’s. On September 21, join us and stand up to Alzheimer’s!
Facts taken from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp.