November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and September 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day. This fall, thousands of people all across the United States will be raising money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by participating in an Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. The Alzheimer’s Association hopes that 30,000 teams sign up to participate in a local Alzheimer’s Memory Walk nationwide,
Why raising money for Alzheimer’s research through a Memory Walk event is so important.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every 70 seconds. Alzheimer’s is an especially cruel disease, affecting not only a patient’s memories, judgment and ability to cope with everyday life, but their very personality. Alzheimer’s not only affects the person diagnosed with the disease, but their family, friends and caregivers.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder, meaning that a person diagnosed with the disease will get progressively worse as the years go by. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and hundreds of thousands of people die from Alzheimer’s disease every year.
Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, although it is associated with age. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 5% of people between 65 and 74 years old have Alzheimer’s disease, but the incidence of Alzheimer’s increases to 50% in those over the age of 85. As life expectancies increase, so does the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1983, when Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, fewer than 2 million Americans were living with the disease. Today, according to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research, 5 million Americans are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is growing at the rate of 360,000 new cases each year.
The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research estimates that by 2050, between 11.2 million and 16 million Americans will have the disease. That is why it is more crucial than ever to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
How to join a local Alzheimer’s Memory Walk.
Alzheimer’s Memory Walks will be held all over the country throughout the fall. To find an Alzheimer’s Memory Walk in your area, simply click here and enter your zip code in the online form. You will then be directed to the website of the Memory Walk nearest you. In many areas, you may have more than one Memory Walk to choose from.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Walk website also has information on how to set up your own Memory Walk team, and how to set up a corporate Alzheimer’s Memory Walk team in your office or place of business.
Other ways to support research into Alzheimer’s disease.
Aside from Memory Walk events, the Alzheimer’s Association encourages your to Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer’s to celebrate World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21st. You can visit the website to find a local Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer’s event near you.
Finally, if you are unable to attend a Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer’s event or join an Alzheimer’s Memory Walk yourself, the Alzheimer’s Association has information on how you can donate to members of local or national Memory Walk teams.
Sources and Resources
The Alzheimer’s Association
The Mayo Clinic
The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation