World Alzheimer’s Month: The Importance of Early Detection

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, a campaign which began in 2012 to help raise awareness about the disease which affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans, most of whom are seniors over the age of 65.   In fact, one in 10 people 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s dementia and more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for family or friends with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

This year’s theme for World Alzheimer’s Month is “Remember Me,” a slogan developed to remind seniors and caregivers about the importance of early detection and diagnosis of dementia.  Many believe there is little that can be done for Alzheimer’s dementia but with early intervention, medications can slow down the progression of the disease and improve symptoms.   Early detection can also give family, caregivers and other loved-ones time to plan for the future and collect information about what resources are available to support caregivers and foster independent living.

If you or a loved-one are experiencing memory loss or other signs of cognitive impairment, talk with a doctor as soon as possible.  Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, treatment, when prescribed early, can help reduce symptoms and give family time to prepare for future needs.

With a conservative estimate of 36 million people worldwide living with dementia, most cared for at home by a family member, caregivers can also benefit from early diagnosis with the gift of time to create support systems and research information to help ease the stress and challenges of caregiving.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s and Dementia caregiver support visit the Alzheimer’s Association website by following this link.