September 21, 2018 – World Alzheimer’s Day
World Alzheimer’s Month is the international campaign by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. World Alzheimer’s Month was launched in 2012. World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21 September each year.
Dementia is a collective name for progressive brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Dementia is the leading cause of disability and dependency among the elderly. Although each person will experience dementia in their own way, eventually those affected are unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life.
There are over 100 forms of dementia. The most well-known form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 50-60% of all cases. Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and fronto-temporal dementia. Symptoms may include:
- Loss of memory
- Difficulty in finding the right words or understanding what people are saying
- Difficulty in performing previously routine tasks
- Personality and mood changes
Dementia affects almost 50 million people worldwide, with a new case of dementia occurring somewhere in the world every 3 seconds. Dementia can also affect individuals under the age of 65 (young onset dementia). Greater awareness and understanding of dementia is important to challenge the myths and misconceptions that surround the condition.
There is currently no cure for dementia, but treatment and support are available.
Here, at home, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is growing, fast. An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s.
An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018. This number includes an estimated 5.5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s dementia.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- Older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the number of new and existing cases of Alzheimer’s. Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. By mid-century, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.
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