I am writing to express concern for those living with Alzheimer’s disease as well as those people caring for them. We need help stopping this epidemic that is threatening to bankrupt our country. According to the 2014 release of Facts and Figures from the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s. In Illinois alone the number of older adults (65+) is 210,000 and will reach 260,000 by 2025. The current cost of Alzheimer’s care in America is $214 billion annually and could reach $1.2 trillion as this age group grows by mid-century.
Alzheimer’s disease has become an epidemic:
1) The number of victims diagnosed continues to grow.
2) Family members who suffer health ailments due to caregiver stress, depression and guilt is rising.
3) There is no cure.
My parents cared for my grandmother, and I have spent the last 25 years working with and caring for people with Alzheimer’s and their families. I see every day the devastation this disease brings to so many lives.
As difficult as this is, there is hope, and you can help. In September, the Alzheimer’s Association holds their largest annual fundraiser, “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” It is easy and fun. Please find a local walk at act.alz.org and join a team to raise money for research. A disease of this proportion can no longer go underfunded. Your help is vital and desperately needed to find a cure.