Take a moment and think about the person you love the most. Now imagine that person forgetting who you are. As we age, we all lose some of our mental sharpness, but with Alzheimer’s disease the toll is much larger. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, but it is important to remember that it is not a normal part of aging. According to the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing and it is currently the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. This is a devastating disease and it can alter a family in a painful and difficult way. I personally have never had anyone I love diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but my husband has and he is not alone. About 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s right now and a new diagnosis is made every 69 seconds.
According to the BAI, the Alzheimer’s Association has 10 Warning Signs that help identify symptoms that may need further evaluation:
- Memory loss – difficulty remembering events or information.
- Difficulty performing common tasks – everyday activities such as taking medications and doing household chores become more difficult.
- Problems with language – forgetting simple words, substituting unusual words on a frequent basis.
- Disorientation to time and place – getting lost in normally familiar places, forgetting the day of the week or time.
- Poor or decreased judgment – buying unnecessary items, giving away money or making bad decisions that are inconsistent with past behavior.
- Problems with abstract thinking – more difficulty with complex mental tasks such as planning, organizing and forgetting how to use familiar items.
- Misplacing things – finding missing items or things in unusual places such as finding car keys in the freezer.
- Changes in mood or behavior – ranging from a depressed/withdrawn mood to becoming more irritable and getting angry and upset easily.
- Changes in personality – becoming confused, fearful, suspicious, self-absorbed or dependent.
- Loss of initiative – loss of interest in normal activities; may sleep or watch TV more during the day.
Most of us are not research scientists or doctors, but that doesn’t mean we cannot help with this situation. As part of its Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute has created the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. Any person age 18 or older can sign-up with the registry and it provides a tangible way that you can help.
Goals of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry
- Keep enrollees informed of latest news and advocacy to drive focus on Alzheimer’s
- Provide an unprecedented resource of potential study participants for prevention research (signing up for the registry does not obligate you to participate in clinical trials)
- Offer valuable resources of simple, easy to understand news in partnership with AlzForum
I encourage you and your family members to register with the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. Anyone age 18 and over, regardless of medical history, can sign up. With an aging population and the Baby Boomers entering their Golden Years, this disease is not going away and the need for a cure grows everyday. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry has a goal of getting 100,000 registered by next June. I hope you will be one of them.
Call to Action:
- Sign up on the registry.
- Like the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry on Facebook.
- Share this post on social media to help spread the word.
Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign for the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Initiative and The Motherhood. I took part in a webinar to learn more about Alzheimer’s & the Alzheimer’s Registry. All facts & quotes above are from the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. However, all opinions & experiences are my own, as always.