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In My Community
From the President and CEO
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April 2014

Dear Friends:

Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis.

The Alzheimer's Association 2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report released on March 19 reveals that almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s and more than 60% of unpaid caregivers for people with the disease are women. This means that over 13 million American women either have the disease or are caring for someone with it.

Among the startling statistics in the report:

• At age 65, women have more than a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer’s during the remainder of their lives, compared with a one in 11 chance for men.

• Women in their 60s are about two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s in the rest of their lives than they are to develop breast cancer.

• There are 2.5 times more women than men providing intensive “on-duty” care 24 hours a day for someone with Alzheimer's.

• Nearly 19 percent of women Alzheimer’s caregivers had to quit work either to become a caregiver in the first place or because their caregiving duties became too burdensome.

The growing Alzheimer’s crisis is taking a tremendous human and financial toll on America’s families. 

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and 15.5 million family members and friends are providing their unpaid care. Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition in the nation, costing the country $214 billion a year. Nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Because age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s, these costs will grow exponentially as the baby bombers age.

Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States; killing approximately 500,000 people each year – more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. If we could eliminate Alzheimer’s tomorrow, we could save half a million lives every year. The country’s first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease has a goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Ensuring strong implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, including adequately funding Alzheimer’s research, is the best way to avoid crippling an already fragile system.

Alzheimer’s cannot wait. The emotional and financial costs are too high. You can make a difference today. Here’s how:

DONATE
Our work is made possible by the generosity of our donors and event sponsors and participants. Make a tax-deductible contribution, or join us for one of our upcoming special events.

The Brain Ball
Our community’s most influential and respected corporate, civic and political leaders will join co-chairs Liz and Tom Donohue as we honor Paul and Terry Klaassen, founders of Sunrise Senior Living, at the Brain Ball on Friday, May 2 at the National Building Museum. Former Washington Redskin Doc Walker will emcee the event as we raise funds for cutting edge research and critical support services for individuals, families and caregivers facing the daily challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. Sponsorship opportunities and individual tickets are available. For more information, contact Mariana Nork at NCABrainBall@alz.org or 301.509.2057.

The Longest Day
This event is about patience, strength and endurance – but it’s also about a challenge. Run, walk, bike or challenge yourself to an endurance activity to honor the passion, dedication and strength displayed by people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers every day. Join us on June 21 for The Longest Day.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Registration is open for Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Sign up today for one or more of our Walks this fall in Washington, DC; Bowie, La Plata, and Solomons, MD; and Manassas, Reston, and Winchester, VA.

LEARN
Education is crucial for families, caregivers and people with Alzheimer’s. We offer a variety of workshops throughout the region and online. Our Caregiver Center offers resources to help at each stage of the disease, as well as information on safety and financial and legal matters. And our 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900 is always here for you anytime, day or night.

VOLUNTEER
Whether you can spare a few hours a week or can make a more significant time commitment, please consider becoming an Alzheimer's Association volunteer. Share your expertise as a workshop presenter or guest speaker. Become an Alzheimer’s advocate. Help plan, promote and work on our special events.

SPEAK OUT
Realizing the impact Alzheimer’s has on women – and the impact women can have when they work together – the Alzheimer’s Association is launching a national initiative this spring highlighting the power of women in the fight against this disease. We invite all women to visit alz.org/mybrain to share why their brain matters and how they are using it to end Alzheimer’s.

ADVOCATE
Every voice matters and every story counts as we continue to build the national movement to end Alzheimer’s. More than 800 advocates representing every state and the District of Columbia will convene in our Nation’s Capital from April 7 – 9 for the 26th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum. The National Capital Area Chapter is sending a 28-person delegation to the Forum. Online registration is closed; however, you can still register onsite on April 7. 

Your generous support makes it possible for us to serve those who desperately need our help. Act now. Help bring us one step closer to a world without Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s won’t wait. Will you?

Sincerely,

Susan Kudla Finn, PMP
President and CEO
Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter


 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.