November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month.

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Every 65 seconds, another American family is affected by Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a complex neurological disease that is the most common form of dementia. An estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2015 and more than 15 million are caring for a loved one with the disease. Of the 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.1 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).

The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase.

Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. Of the 5.1 million people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s in the United States, 3.2 million are women and 1.9 million are men.

It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that CANNOT BE PREVENTED, CURED OR SLOWED.

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million. Get involved this month, and help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2014, friends and family of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $217.7 billion. In the United States, there are more than 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers. My mother, for my entire adult life, has been among these 15 million, providing care for 3 of 4 of my grandparents and then my father. Over this extended period of time she has accumulated a vast amount of experience in dealing with this disease and the affects it has on the individual and the families involved.

During my dad’s illness, he passed in October of 2014, she started a website, Alzheimer’s 24-7, to tell the story of being a caregiver, sharing her experiences, thoughts and ideas on caring for those afflicted with this terrible disease. If you’re looking for answers or just a place to share your own experiences check the site.

From – Alzheimer’s 24-7

“If you, like me, are a caregiver, or have loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s, my website might contain some information and understanding for which you may be searching. From the beginning, once we adjusted to the dreadful diagnosis, I have approached my husband’s AD experience with a matter-of-fact attitude — accept those thing which cannot be changed — and have whispered the rest of the serenity prayer over and over during the rough times.

Ken began his AD journey in January of 2004, although symptons — barely noticed, but caught by me — were evident as far back as the late 1990s. In retrospect it all seemed like just a short breather since I cared for my own mother who suffered from the disease in the late 80s and early 90s. Prior to that, Ken’s parents, Nick and Rose, were both stricken during the mid and late 70s with me as the available person to care for them.

… While watching any loved one slip away into the wretched nothingness of Alzheimer’s is numbing, seeing your life’s partner, your best friend, your spouse, your love and the other parent of your children spiral down the same bottomless staircase as I had observed in three of our four parents, brings about unspeakable pain on a 24/7 basis. Through these years I have made every effort to be positive as we were carried helplessly into the daily battles by striving to live in the moment — both the good moments and the bad. Helping to get through the maze I remember the good times of happier days which I share in my writing. I have found that writing gives me perspective and helps keep balance to my life.”



About Kevin

Mayor - City of Oakley, Data Center Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit and Transplan
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