According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, there are 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease – 340,000 in Texas alone. By 2025, that number is expected to rise to 470,000. "Alzheimer’s is a significant threat not only for the nation – but also for the people of Texas," said Christian Wells, VP of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Capital of Texas Chapter. The growing prevalence and escalating impact of this disease should not be underestimated. As the first wave of baby boomers begins turning 65 next year — now is the time to address the ways to tame the threat of one of the most significant public health crisis facing the nation.
The new Facts and Figures report highlights the tremendous burden Alzheimer’s has on families. With family members providing care at home for about 70 percent of people with Alz-heimer’s disease, the ripple effects of Alzheimer’s disease can be felt throughout the affected person’s entire family. There are nearly 11 million people all across the country who provide unpaid care for loved ones with Alz-heimer’s disease and dementia. In Texas alone, 852,820 caregivers, provided 971,191,823 hours of unpaid care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, valued at $11.2 billion dollars.
Conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. This year’s report also examines how these conditions, which occur more frequently in the African-American and Hispanic communities, may also increase risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia among these groups compared to whites. Although African-Americans and/or Hispanics are more likely than whites to have Alzheimer’s and dementia, they are less likely than whites to have a diagnosis of the condition. Delays in diagnosis mean that African-Americans and/or Hispanics are not getting treatment in the earlier stages of the disease when treatments are most effective and they also miss the opportunity to make legal, financial and care plans. "Early detection, diagnosis and intervention are vital because they provide individuals the best opportunities for treatment, support and planning for their future," continued Wells. "We know many families miss the warning signs or mistakenly assume symptoms are a normal part of aging. The Capital of Texas Chapter has worked hard to educate our community about those signs that may actually be cause for concern and warrant medical follow-up."
In an effort to promote public understanding of the disease, increase awareness of the benefits of Alzheimer’s early detection and increase the number of people talking to their doctors about warning signs, the Alzheimer’s Association-Capital of Texas Chapter will offer four free standing monthly educational classes titled:
ALZ 101:An Introduction to Alzheimer’s Disease. Time and location are as follows:
1st Tuesday of the month-Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th St., Georgetown, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.;
2nd Tuesday of the month-Alzheimer’s Association Office, 3429 Executive Center Dr., Suite 100, Austin 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.;
3rd Tuesday of the month-Temple Public Library, 100 W. Adams Ave., Temple, Noon – 1:15 p.m.**
4th Tuesday of the month-City of San Marcos Old Community Fish Hatchery, 204 CM Allen Parkway, San Marcos, Noon – 1:15 p.m. This class is complementary for family members, caregivers, and anyone interested in learning the basics of Alzheimer’s disease. A variety of topics are covered, including: what is AD, stages, diagnosis, and things to know & do. The Capital of Texas Chapter also oversees 4 support groups in the San Saba, Mills, Llano, and Lampasas County areas. On Friday May 21, the Chapter will be hosting a free, educational lunch in San Saba. Event details are as follows: Friday, May 21, 11:30 – 1:00 p.m., Pepperbelly’s Restaurant, 517 E. Wallace, San Saba, TX 76877
To RSVP or for more information on our most current educational offerings, please call the Chapter office at (512) 241-0420, or visit our website at www.alz.org/texascapital.
The Capital of Texas Chapter serves 17 counties in Central Texas and was formed in 1982. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our 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. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, please visit www.alz.org/texascapital.