November marks the 30th anniversary whereby President Reagan declared November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. A significant month for certain, November is also National Family Caregivers Month.
There has been substantial progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s, but with more than 5 million American’s living with this disease which has no prevention, cure or even a solution to slow its progression, Alzheimer's Disease is still a disease that needs a strong fight. It needs all of us — those touched by the disease, and those yet untouched — to push for a cure.
Last year, the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio assisted families more than 16,000 times. Further, we estimate that our supportive efforts are needed by three times that number, by our neighbors living in central Ohio.
As importantly, for every person suffering from Alzheimer’s or a related dementia disease, there is one or more caregivers. Caregivers for Alzheimer’s and dementia assume heartbreaking responsibilities, coupled with personal and financial challenges.
I see these brave families every day. I see their hope, determination and selflessness. I ask all of you to join us this month, National Caregivers Month, to “take a moment and thank a caregiver.” Tell them they are not alone. Also, share our resources with them. Our 24/7 Helpline is staffed by professionals ready to offer compassion and support. Invite your friends, family and neighbors to use it by calling 1.800.272.3900.
Let us recognize these unsung heros of the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic.