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Sacramento Boomer

Alzheimer's Association: Advocating for More

Jul 30, 2019 10:58AM

Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. That’s an astonishing number and odds are, you know someone who suffers from this disease. One of the goals of the Alzheimer’s Association is to find a disease-altering treatment to help the more than 5.8 million Americans living with the disease and ultimately eliminate it altogether. 

The Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter is committed to serving our community and helping those affected by Alzheimer’s. Elizabeth Edgerly, PhD, is the Executive Director of this Chapter and she says, “The one thing you will see every day in our office is helpline staff and volunteers, on the phone, talking to families. You might overhear conversations in Chinese or in Spanish, as our diversity and inclusion team trains new volunteer community educators.” 

Noticing cognitive changes in someone close to you can be difficult to accept but knowing there are people here to help can make a difference in their livelihood as well as those around them. If you think a family member or friend is showing signs of Alzheimer’s, Elizabeth says, “The first step is to have a conversation with them. These conversations can be difficult, so our website (alz.org) offers tips on how to broach the topic.” Their website also has other helpful information on early signs of Alzheimer’s, and how to prepare for a cognitive check-up, and so much more. You can also call their 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 for support and guidance.

Unfortunately, you can’t prevent Alzheimer’s, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. Elizabeth recommends, “At the top of the list are diet and exercise. Quit smoking, if you smoke. What’s good for the heart is good for the brain, so taking care of your heart, especially managing your blood pressure, will protect your brain too.” Again, their website is an excellent source of information.

The Alzheimer's Association funds research to advance the understanding of the disease and its prevention, with a goal of finding new treatments and improving care for people with dementia. The good news is, they know much more now than they did even a few years ago. A promising start is a blood test for Alzheimer's which would significantly aid in early diagnosis and detection. Elizabeth says, “the blood test is close and that will help us accelerate research.” The US Government has almost quadrupled its investment in Alzheimer’s research over the past five years, which has helped in progress towards a treatment.

alz.org


Ways You Can Help

DONATE - Simply go to alz.org and click the “donate” link. 

PARTICIPATE IN AN EVENT - Set up a “Walk to End
Alzheimer’s” team. In fact, there’s a walk on
September 28 at Raley Field in West Sacramento. 

VOLUNTEER - You can make a difference with just a few hours a week.

BECOME A PARTNER OR SPONSOR - Your company—
national or local—can help with the mission of
the Alzheimer’s Association.

SHOP - Show your support with a shirt, hat, tie, or cup.
shop.alz.org.

ADVOCATE - Convince congress and policymakers to
allow for more research funding through your
advocacy.