World Alzheimer’s Month 2015
Each year in September World Alzheimer’s Month is celebrated. This year’s theme is Remember Me. The basis of the theme is to remember loved ones who are living with Alzheimer’s and those who have passed. Also, this year’s theme revolves around spotting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Being involved does not simply mean being a physical participant. Researching and raising your awareness of the disease is just as important to loved ones with Alzheimer’s. We have provided links at the bottom of the page for additional information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
While World Alzheimer’s Month continues to grow, many people are still unaware or misinformed about the disease. To understand the disease, it is important to start with the basics: What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a disease within the dementia space. It is the most common form of dementia – a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information because Alzheimer’s changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood, and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time, and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends, and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking.
Alzheimer’s by the Numbers
- In 2015, an estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease
- The majority are aged 65 and older
- Almost two-thirds are women
- Up to 5 % have early onset Alzheimer’s (40-50 years old)
- Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60% to 80% of dementia cases
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States
- It is the only cause of death in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured
- People with Alzheimer’s live an average of 8 years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from 4 to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions
Whether you or someone you love is affected by Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to be aware of the disease, its background, and its symptoms. Use the links provided to find out more about Alzheimer’s disease and learn ways you can be an active participant in World Alzheimer’s Month.