Alzheimer's: Local Help for a National Epidemic
Every 70 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and almost 30 percent of Americans have a family member with the disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Nearly two-thirds of Alzheimer's patients over the age of 65 are women.
Alzheimer's is a fatal form of dementia that attacks a person's cognitive abilities. Those affected may not recognize family members, forget where they live or how to dress.
But memory loss and the lack intellectual abilities are just a few of the disease's far reaching effects.
Family members, usually women, often become caregivers of their loved one suffering from the disease. The Alzheimer's Association states that nearly one third of female caregivers spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week caring for their loved one.
Meredeth Rowe, PhD, RN, FAAN is a research scientist at the HSR&D/RR&D Center of Excellence at the Tampa VA Hospital and a Professor at the University of Florida. She visited TV20's to discuss how this brain disease reaches so many.
Those affected can find help, locally. You can visit the Central and North Florida's Alzheimer's Association Chapter's website at www.alz.org/cnfl or call the Gainesville office at (352) 372-6266. A 24 hour Helpline is available at (800) 272-3900. For more information visit the Alzheimer's Association's National Site at www.alz.org.
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