According to the Alzheimer's Association's 2017 facts and figures, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease is expected to more than triple in the next few decades - from five million today to more than 16 million by 2050, unless a cure is found.
Currently someone develops Alzheimer's or dementia every 66 seconds. By mid-century, in the United States, it will be every 33 seconds.
One in 10 people over age 65 is currently living with this disease. As the number of individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia grows, so too will the need for communities to adapt and become more accessible to those living with dementia-related diseases.
It is likely that every one of us will be touched by Alzheimer's at some point, whether it's a family member, neighbor, friend or customer at work.
It's important for us to learn how to better interact with people living with the disease and create a more supportive environment for them.
One helpful resource to assist in understanding dementia is www.help foralzheimersfamilies.com. Here you will find information on signs and symptoms, personal stories of those caring for someone with dementia, live chats with experts and educational opportunities.
- Grace Whiting, chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Caregiving, said, "Many people caring for someone with dementia feel alone and isolated from their communities. Caregivers need allies who understand the disease and who have knowledge and resources to help those living with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. By educating the community, we are fostering a global movement to build dementia friendly neighborhoods that will reduce the stigma and isolation of caregiving and bring caregivers back into the fold."
Closer to home, the community Walk To End Alzheimer's will be held Oct. 28 in Old Town Bluffton, starting at 110 Calhoun St. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Monies raised at this event will benefit those in our area living with Alzheimer's and other dementias.
Rachel Carson is the owner of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise, serving Beaufort County since 1997.