Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States—the only one without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – 5.2 million aged 65 and over, and 200,000 under the age of 65. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. Of Americans aged 65 and over, one in eight has Alzheimer’s, and nearly half of people aged 85 and older have the disease.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on Sat., Sept. 29 at Sunset Woods Park in Highland Park. Nearly 500 people from the North Shore area are expected at this year’s event to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Check-in and registration will take place from 8 -10 a.m. The three-mile walk will begin at 10 a.m. Each walker will also join in a meaningful tribute ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Why is fundraising so important? Alzheimer’s disease is extremely costly, financially and emotionally. For example, in 2011, 15.2 million family and friends provided 17.4 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias – care valued at $210.5 billion. More than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; one-third report symptoms of depression. Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 66 percent between 2000 and 2008, while deaths from other major diseases, including the number one cause of death (heart disease), decreased.
If you can’t make the walk, you can still help. Join in on the “Go Purple to End Alzheimer’s” campaign on Alzheimer’s Action Day (Sept. 21). You can help turn Facebook purple by making your profile picture the End Alz icon.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Start or join a team today at alz.org/walk or by calling 847-933-2413.