(GTU) – Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear later in life. Scientists continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Changes in the brain may begin a decade or more before symptoms appear, but many people are living with the disease right now.
How many people are affected by Alzheimer’s?
In the United States, more than 6 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, and there are 16 million people providing care for those affected.
Here in the state of Utah, we have over 34,000 people living with Alzheimer’s, which accounts for about 10 percent of our senior population over age 65, with more than 104,000 caregivers.
The Alzheimer’s disease epidemic
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the only one of the top ten killers that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. More than 700,000 Americans die each year with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.
At age 65, one in ten people have Alzheimer’s and at age 85, one in three people are affected. More people die annually from Alzheimer’s disease-like breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. develop Alzheimer’s. Nearly everyone knows someone who has been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association is offering in-person and virtual education courses for families, caregivers, and the general population.
The courses are free and provide a wide range of subjects from how to care for your loved one living with Alzheimer’s during COVID-19, Dementia Conversations, Effective Communication Strategies, Understanding Dementia Behaviors, and Tips About the Latest Research on Ways to Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association also offers in-person and virtual support groups for people living with the disease and caregivers. They have a 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 which is available to answer questions or help develop strategies. It is always available and is provides support in more than 200 different languages and dialects.
Go to their website at alz.org/Utah provides outstanding resources for caregivers and healthcare professionals including education programs, materials, and tools for care. There is no charge for courses, but registration is required, and the easiest way to register is to simply call the toll-free Helpline at 800-272-3900.
Walk to End Alzheimer
Alzheimer’s disease is relentless, but so is the Alzheimer’s Association! The Walk to End Alzheimer’s events will be happening in person this fall in 8 locations. will also have virtual options for those people who might not feel safe gathering at a Walk location. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s events are the Association’s largest public awareness events.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is full of flowers, each carried by someone committed to ending this disease. Because like flowers, participants don’t stop when something’s in their way. They keep raising funds and awareness for a breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.
If you know of someone who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, or if you have lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s, join them at one of these events near you. They need your presence, your voice, and your support! Together we can end Alzheimer’s disease!
This story contains sponsored content.