Today marks the beginning of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Gayle Brubaker, with the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Iowa, says the brain robbing disease doesn’t always attract the attention it deserves. "It’s one of those diseases that really isn’t spoken about much. We don’t have survivors…yet. I say that with very cautious optimism at the science that is being done every single day in this country and around the world," Brubaker said.
The first observance of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month was 25 years ago in 1983. The proclamation was signed by then President Ronald Reagan who suffered the same disease from 1994 until his death in 2003. Brubaker says Alzheimers is difficult for both the patient and the caregivers, who are often the patient’s family members.
"It’s a scary disease. Nobody likes the thought of losing their memories and ultimately their awareness and abilities," Brubaker said. "That’s why we use National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to bring awareness to the 5.1 million Americans living with this disease today and to fight for everything they need." Of those 5.1 million Americans, 65-thousand are Iowans with Alzheimers.
"With Iowa’s rapidly aging population, we are poised to be one of the states that has the highest incidents of Alzheimers Disease by 2025," Brubaker said. More information about Alzheimers, the symptoms and care options is available at www.alz.org/GREATERIOWA/ or by calling 515-440-2722.