Get Educated

We have an epidemic on our hands and it is bankrupting our families and our nation. Your brain is your biggest ally in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Commit to staying up to speed on what Alzheimer’s is, what it is not and how you can make brain healthy decisions starting today.

Know the Numbers
  • More than 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
  • By 2050, this number could be as high as 16 million.
  • Every 67 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • In her 60s, a woman’s estimated lifetime risk for developing Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6. For breast cancer it is 1 in 11.
  • More than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women.
Know the Facts
  • Alzheimer’s disease is NOT a natural part of aging.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is still 100% fatal. There is no treatment or cure. Of the top 10 causes of death in America, it is the only disease without any effective drug or course of action.
  • If Alzheimer’s runs in your family, that does not necessarily mean you will get it.
  • Conversely, if it does not run in your family, you are still at risk.
  • Healthy habits can prevent or slow the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This includes diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Read more about 5 ways to reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s here.
Know the Economics
  • Alzheimer’s is the disease that costs the nation the most. The direct cost to the United States of America’s economy from caring for those with Alzheimer’s is a staggering $226 billion. It is currently on track to bankrupt Medicaid.
  • And yet, less than $1 billion a year is spent on research for Alzheimer’s, compared to $5 billon for cancer and $3 billion for HIV/AIDS. We need more funding for research to find treatments and a cure for this disease.
  • The expected cost is projected at $1.1 trillion by 2050 if we don’t do something.
  • Costs for care far exceed other terminal illness such as cancer and heart disease. The average total cost of care for a person with dementia over the last five years of their life is $287,038.
Know the Stories Behind the Disease
  • Caregivers can suffer as much as patients.
  • An estimated 15 million men and women provided caregiving services without pay in America in 2014 to people suffering from Alzheimer’s. They need our support.

Find more resources, including support for caregivers, advice for family members, and recipes for brain food in Tales of Alzheimer’s & Caregiving on MariaShriver.com.

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