July 23, 2014

June is Alzheimer’s awareness month

Jun 26

Main Photo
Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter George DeSantis of Burgettstown holds his wife, Dolores', hand.

As we prepare to roll out the third in our yearlong Alzheimer’s series this Sunday – this one targeting in-home care – we thought it appropriate to note that June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

On June 21, the longest day of the year, thousands of people across the country participated in “The Longest Day,” a day filled with events to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and dementia-related disases.

Despite its soaring prevalence, Alzheimer’s disease is still largely misunderstood; the Alzheimer’s Association hopes that Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month can be an opportunity to raise awareness of the crisis and educate people on the realities of the disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, nearly a quarter of people agree with the mistaken belief that Alzheimer’s must run in their family for them to be at risk. The reality is this: Everyone is at risk for Alzheimer’s, a disease that currently cannot be prevented, stopped or even slowed in progression.

At least 44 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 270,000 people over the age of 65 are projected to have some sort of Alzheimer’s or dementia-related disease.

Events are still going on through June in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Check out http://www.alz.org/pa/ for meetings and events happening in our area.

And be sure to visit the O-R this Sunday for the next installment of our Alzheimer’s series, No Longer Me.

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The Observer-Reporter's latest staff series will feature Alzheimer's and dementia. Each month, we will concentrate on different aspects of the disease, from what it is, who is affected, resources, and more. This powerful series will go on for the conceivable future.