Milwaukee, WI – September 8, 2008 – According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2008 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, currently more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and in Wisconsin alone, there are currently 100,000 living with Alzheimer’s. This number is expected to grow 10% to 110,000 by 2010.
With an aging baby boomer population, this degenerative brain disease will continue to touch more and more lives. More funding for research and more supportive services for those living with Alzheimer’s disease begins with greater overall public awareness and this stamp is a tremendous step in that education effort.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t just impact the individual; it impacts entire families. Today in America, there are approximately 10 million people caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Seventy percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease live at home where family and friends take care of them, including 178,748 caregivers in Wisconsin providing more than 154 million hours of unpaid care valued at $1.6 billion dollars.
“We applaud the Postal Service’s long history of highlighting public health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s stamp will help to energize the national debate about how we respond to this public health threat,” said Tom Hlavacek, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter.
Researchers continue to look for new treatments to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. These new therapies, when they are developed, will be most effective when taken as early in the course of the disease as possible making it even more urgent for effective early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Early diagnosis improves care and treatment options for individuals by empowering them to participate more fully in their lives. It offers individuals more time to make choices to maximize the quality of life, build the right medical team, and gain earlier access to existing medications, programs and services.
The Alzheimer’s Association list 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease:
• Memory loss
• Difficulty performing familiar tasks
• Problems with language
• Disorientation to time and place
• Poor or decreased judgment
• Problems with abstract thinking
• Misplacing things
• Changes in mood or behavior
• Changes in personality
• Loss of initiative
The need for education, information, and supportive services for those with Alzheimer’s disease is paramount. Fortunately, the Alzheimer’s Association provides a wealth of resources to assist those who have been touched by the disease, including a 24/7 Helpline, local information for referrals, care consultations, public education events and support groups. For more information, visit www.alz.org/sewi. For more information on the Alzheimer Awareness 42-cent commemorative stamp which is available for purchase beginning today, visit shop.usps.com, click on Stamps and then on 42-Cent First-Class.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information and local resources, visit www.alz.org/sewi.