Alzheimer’s is a difficult disease, not only for the affected, but also for the caregiver.  As you may well know, 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 life – and it is not a normal part of aging.

What’s particularly alarming is the rate of increase of the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association every 66 seconds this year, an American will develop Alzheimer’s disease. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today, and by 2050 this number could rise as high as 16 million.  The numbers are growing because this a disease with no prevention and no cure. U.S. deaths from Alzheimer’s have already doubled in the last 15 years. Notably, deaths from other major diseases have been declining mostly due to significant investments in research that produce treatments and techniques to reduce risk, and sometimes even a cure.

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. There is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.

Here are a few things you can do to learn more and get involved!

Follow this link to the Alzheimer’s Association website to read about the 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The Darien Senior Program at Mather Center annually turns its lobby purple to show support for the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter.  Stop by, through the month of October, at 2 Renshaw Road, to find educational materials and information, and to show your support.

The 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s is taking place locally on Sunday October 8th at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. You can register to walk, volunteer or donate.  Click here for more information.

Attend “Cutting Edge Research on Alzheimer’s and other Dementias” Tuesday, October 10th, 6:00pm at Village at Waveny, 3 Farm Road, New Canaan. Neurologist, Dr. Peter McAllister, will lead a conversation on the most recent research, findings and experimental treatments related to Alzheimer’s and other dementias. RSVP 203-594-5310 to Mary Ntiri or [email protected]. A light supper will be provided at 5:30pm.

And most importantly, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, know that you are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association is a resource for reliable information, education, referral and support to millions of people affected by the disease. Call the Alzheimer’s 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900