We can do no great things, only small things with great love.
– Mother Teresa
This past Mothers’ Day and one day before her 82nd birthday, I lost my mother to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. It was a long battle that I have written about several times on this blog. But this post is not going to be about her death, as I am still trying to process her life, suffering and passing. Rather, it is my intention to bring greater awareness to Alzheimer’s and dementia; help inspire others to take action to support those whose lives have been shattered by this epidemic; and help make advances toward eradicating this horrific disease. The Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association does amazing work and since this is the season for giving, I am asking that you consider supporting them in some small way for the following reasons:
- It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.
2. One in three senior citizens will die of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
3. As our population ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death. In fact, in 2015 an estimated 700,000 people will die from this disease.
4. Almost two thirds of those suffering are women – our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends being robbed of their quality of life.
5. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the costliest chronic diseases in the nation. Unless something is done over the next few decades, the cost of care will rise to $1.1 trillion.
6. Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women. In addition to the fact that more women are diagnosed with this disease, two thirds of caregivers are women aged 65 or older. The impact on caregivers is tremendous, many of them suffer from depression, alienation from society, and shock over the dramatic change in their life. Fortunately, there are Support Groups and call support hotlines to give caregivers the help they so desperately need.
7. There is hope for the future. Clinical Trials, new drugs, and scientific research helping us understand this enigma is being developed every day. Let us keep the momentum going.
8. You can support by participating in their many walks throughout the year. It is good for your health and builds support in the community. This link will take you to a list of walks in the state and also has a calendar of holiday events where the proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
9. Your contribution can be matched in a variety of ways, including your employer: http://www.matchinggifts.com/walk/
10. By visiting someone, even if it is a stranger, in a memory care center, you are bringing much joy and happiness. Even if it is for a few minutes. A patient may not recognize your face or remember your name, but the feeling of love you gave to them will linger on in their hearts for a long time.
Thank you for considering taking a small step to help eradicate this horrific disease, the statistics are staggering, but I have faith in science and am praying for a breakthrough. The local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is doing great work in supporting patients and families affected by this disease and could use any small act of kindness to help further their reach. If there is anyone out there who has been touched by this disease, has questions about the Alzheimer’s Association, or if you need someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Happy holidays and much love to you and your families.