The Threat of Alzheimer’s Disease Grows as the Race is on to Find the First Survivor

October 16, 2018 | Chris Hughes

Researchers say Alzheimer’s cases will triple over the next 40 years. Events like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s hopes to reverse the trend.

If Alzheimer’s Disease cannot be stopped, it’s predicted to be a killer to millions more Americans as the years pass by.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said recently that cases of the most common form of dementia will triple over approximately the next 40 years, unless something dramatic happens that changes this trend.

A Disturbing Trend

The CDC states around 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, which is around 1.6 percent of the population. By 2060, that number is projected to be around 14 million, which would be 3.3 percent of the expected population in this country.

“The U.S. population of persons aged 65 years and above is expected to double from 46.5 million in 2014 to 83.7 million by 2060, but some groups will increase much faster than others,” researchers wrote.

The study indicates that nearly 14 percent of African Americans 65 or older are suffering from Alzheimer’s. That number is around 12 percent in Hispanics, and around 10 percent in white Americans. As the populations in each group change over the next four decades, the biggest rise in the occurrence of Alzheimer’s is set to be among Hispanics, according to the CDC.

How Can the Trend be Reversed?

Right now, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s why awareness and research are so important. The Alzheimer’s Association’s mission is to find the first survivor of the disease. The organization’s main fundraiser is the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide.

Earlier this month in Orlando, people from all walks of life joined in a united front, bonded by the pain of watching Alzheimer’s take hold of, and then take away, a loved one.

Central Florida state representative Scott Plakon lost his wife, Susie, at just 57-years-old over the summer. U.S. Rep. Val Demings is watching her mother’s memory fade away, telling a recent story of going to say hello to her mom, and she responded with “it is a pleasure to meet you.”

Orlando Sentinel columnist George Diaz remarked how the fight against Alzheimer’s is bringing together Republicans (Plakon) and Democrats (Demings), as both fight for increased funding at the state and federal levels.

Diaz is a fierce, vocal advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness and research. He and his family held a separate fundraiser in conjunction with the event in honor of his mother, Dalia, who battled the disease for five years before passing away in 2009. Diaz says that becoming a stranger to a loved one is one of the hardest things to deal with, sharing this exchange with his mother:

“What’s my name?” I would ask her.

“Olivia,” She said, using my sister’s name.

“No, I’m Jorjito,” I would respond, using her favorite pet name for me.

She would acknowledge the kind correction.

Five minutes later, I would ask her, “what’s my name?”

“Olivia.”

I would laugh, simply because the only other alternative was to break down in tears.

 The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Coming to Lakeland

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be at Lakeland’s Lake Hollingsworth on Saturday, October 20, 2018, and Lake Gibson Village is a proud sponsor.

You may join our team or donate to it via this link to the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.

The vast majority of the money raised by the walk goes directly to Alzheimer’s care, support, research, awareness and advocacy. You can see the complete breakdown of the funds here.

The CDC reports that the number of seniors is expected to double in 40 years. There will be an estimated 83 million people over the age of 65 in America by 2060. If researchers can make a significant breakthrough regarding Alzheimer’s, the hope is that millions of those seniors, and their loved ones, will not have to suffer from this ruthless disease.

“With all the trees and the lake, it’s like living in the country.”

Lillie B

“I don’t have to cook, clean or wash my clothes. That’s the best!”

Margaret N

“The people are friendly; I love them all!”

Margaret B

“I’m just overjoyed to be here.”

Matt G

“You have to come and visit us, because it is beautiful.”

Lillie B