What does Alzheimer’s have to do with me?
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that you don’t think about until it affects you, or someone you know, personally. It’s the “scary” disease with no cure. The disease that no one wants to talk about. It’s just too frightening to think about. If we did, we would have to imagine someone we love who is now a stranger, even to themselves. Not only a stranger but someone completely incapable of taking care of themselves at some point in the disease progression. Completely incapable of the everyday things we take for granted. What if you forgot how to brush your teeth? The brush is completely foreign- you, literally, have no idea what it is used for. Someone you love patiently explains it to you and teaches you to use it, but just a few short moments after, it’s forgotten until you do this same dance tomorrow.
One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. One in three! Alzheimer’s disease kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from heart disease have decreased 11%, while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease has increased 123%!
So, chances are, at some point in your life, you will be touched by Alzheimer’s in one way or another. A family member, a friend, a coworker. Every 65 seconds someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s disease. It has become the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.