Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 17, 2014

Volunteers needed for Alzheimer’s walk event

Alzheimer’s Association 2014 report released
Mar 20, 2014

OTTUMWA — The South-central Iowa Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee invites interested community members to join the group for more information about raising awareness, funds and helping those who battle Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The meeting will be held 7-8 p.m. March 27 at Ridgewood Care & Rehab Center in Ottumwa.

Committee members will share information about what Walk to End Alzheimer’s is, why supporting the event matters and how to get involved in making a difference through the event.

Information on how to participate in this year’s walk and volunteering will be available, along with information on Alzheimer’s Association services.

The meeting is free and open to the public; all interested parties are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee consists of members from all backgrounds and experiences. It welcomes new individuals who wish to share their time, talents, connections and passion for the cause. Volunteers can get involved in multiple ways.

For more information, contact this year’s walk committee co-chairmen Patti Hanna at 319-212-1106 or Brandon Kranovich at 641-683-3111.

Anyone with questions about Alzheimer’s disease or seeking information should contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 toll-free Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org/greateriowa. Experts are available to take calls from individuals concerned with their own cognitive health, as well as from family members and friends concerned about a family member and seeking resources.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Visit www.alz.org/greateriowa or call 800-272-3900.

 

Alzheimer’s Association 2014 report released

OTTUMWA — According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released Wednesday, a woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6, compared with nearly 1 in 11 for a man.

As real a concern as breast cancer is to women’s health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.

Adding to women’s Alzheimer’s burden, there are 2.5 times as many women than men providing intensive “on-duty” care 24 hours for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease. Among caregivers who feel isolated, women are much more likely than men to link isolation with feeling depressed — 17 percent of women vs. 2 percent of men.

The strain of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s also is felt in the workplace. Among caregivers who have been employed while they were also caregiving:

• 20 percent of women versus 3 percent of men went from working full time to working part time while acting as a caregiver.

• 18 percent of women versus 11 percent of men took a leave of absence.

• 11 percent of women versus 5 percent of men gave up work entirely.

• 10 percent of women versus 5 percent of men lost job benefits.

 

Human, financial toll of Alzheimer’s

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 62,000 here in Iowa, but Alzheimer’s has far reaching effects that can plague entire families. There are 133,000 Alzheimer’s caregivers in Iowa providing 151 million hours of unpaid care valued at $1,884 million.

The total national cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to reach $214 billion this year. In 2014, the cost to Medicare and Medicaid of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will reach a combined $150 billion with Medicare spending nearly $1 in every $5 on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

These numbers are set to soar at the baby boomers continue to enter the age of greatest risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Unless something is done to change the course of the disease, there could be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s in 2050, at a cost of $1.2 trillion in current dollars to the nation.

The country’s first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease has a goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Ensuring implementation of the plan, including adequately funding Alzheimer’s research, is a way to avoid the human and financial tolls.

 

Lack of understanding

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States — fifth in Iowa — yet it is widely misunderstood and underreported.

Nearly a quarter of both men and women agree with the mistaken belief that Alzheimer’s must run in their family for them to be at risk. When looking at certain ethnic groups, these numbers were even higher. A third of Latinos and almost half of Asians agreed with that incorrect statement.

Realizing the impact Alzheimer’s has on women — and the impact women can have when they work together — the Alzheimer’s Association is launching a national initiative this spring highlighting the power of women in the fight against this disease.

The full text of the Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures can be viewed at www.alz.org/greateriowa.

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