On Saturday, September 20, 2014, I participated in a Walk to end Alzheimer’s and Dementia that was held by the Alzheimer’s Association. After meeting at Anderson’s Carolina Wren Park for a brief ceremony and registration period, participants of all ages, sizes and race took a mile-long walk for a very worthy cause. Most all of us know someone who has been impacted by the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Here are a few facts about the illness:
· Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
· Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older. But Alzheimer's is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer's (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.
· Alzheimer's worsens over time. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years.
· Alzheimer's has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer's treatments cannot stop Alzheimer's from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have these symptoms, please reach out to them and a physician as soon as possible. The Library has database resources on Alzheimer’s. Two links are listed below: