It’s Alzheimer’s awareness month. Alzheimer’s accounts for over half of dementia cases. It’s a neurological disease that typically strikes later in life, gradually but drastically affecting long-term memory. There is a genetic role, but having the risk genes does not guarantee it will develop, and you can still develop Alzheimer’s without the identified genes.
Drugs can treat symptoms but there is no cure. All in all, it is a frightening condition. But we can learn about it, support treatment research, we can vote for people who are likely to respect the public healthcare system, and we can help out caregivers when and where possible.
For a personal look at what Alzheimer’s looks like to some people, check out this mini-documentary, about the director’s parents’ relationship, “A Marriage to Remember.”
In October 2014 officials from the federal government announced that it would develop a federal dementia strategy, which was great news for the Alzheimer’s Society and all those who care about creating a nation-wide, coordinated, properly funded system to tackle Alzheimer’s however possible.
So this year could be a big year for advocacy on the creation of a real strategy to get moving on these issues at the federal level. Check out the Alzheimer’s Society website to stay up-to-date.