Date: May 1st, 2008
With the aging of the population, experts warn that Alzheimer’s disease will reach epidemic proportions by mid-century, creating massive and unsustainable burdens in terms of health care costs, overwhelmed families, and millions of lives tragically lost to a devastating disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s latest report, 5.2 million Americans already have Alzheimer’s and as they age, one in eight baby boomers will develop this devastating and fatal disease. And despite the fact that the disease was discovered more than 100 years ago, current therapies only treat the symptoms. By 2010 experts predict that there will almost half a million new cases each year and by 2050 this will double to one million cases each year.
If you are middle aged or older you likely know someone who has the disease or who is a caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Women face a heavier burden than men. One in six women age 55 and older can expect to develop the disease in their lifetime. Even if a woman escapes the disease, she will likely be the caregiver for someone who has it.
A Quick Look at Alzheimer’s, a series of four animated ‘pocket’ films, explains the essence of the disease and its public health implications. The short films, which run only two-three minutes each, are available for anyone at anytime, and are universally accessible—playable on iPods, cell phones, PDAs, laptops and DVD players. They are available for download from www.aboutalz.org, www.agingresearch.org, Google Video, YouTube or as a DVD.
Topics covered in the films are: What is Alzheimer’s Disease?, An Urgent Epidemic, The Race to the Cure and A Message for Patients and their Families. The films are designed to help individuals understand and explain the disease in layman’s terms, including doctors, nurses, caregivers, social workers, scientists, and others. By utilizing the latest technology and social media tools, they can easily be viewed practically everywhere—at home, at work, or in a doctor’s office.
It is our hope that these films will shine a light on the disease, and that doing so will lead to improved care for patients, greater support for families and an increased sense of urgency to find a cure. We believe that these films can raise awareness and help propel this issue to the forefront of the national agenda. Each and every one of us has a stake in this disease and we can make a difference by increasing understanding about the disease.
Please do your part – go to www.aboutalz.org and view these films. Pass it on.