Together, Let’s End Alzheimer’s Disease

old-couple-1316755-639x424It’s that time of year again when I come to you to talk about Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders and how we can fight them together.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual fundraising event, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease, will be held in Central Massachusetts on Sunday, October 4, 2015, at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. It’s a great day of activities for all, including a vendors’ fair where you can learn about services for families and individuals, activities for kids, music and a moving ceremony honoring individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease, caregivers and advocates.

As an Aging Life Care Professional™, I work with families every day who are confronting Alzheimer’s Disease, related disorders and their devastating effects. I walk in honor and in memory of all of my clients who are or were affected by these terrible diseases. I co-chair the Central Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Partnership, a coalition of professionals working with and serving families dealing with these diseases. Without a doubt, I would be happy to have less work if it meant that all of these diseases had been defeated!

In addition to my professional work, I have confronted this disease and related disorders within my own families of origin and marriage⎯first with my grandmother, then my aunt and finally, my father-in-law. I am determined to make a difference.

Here are some facts and figures recently released about Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting more people than prostate cancer and breast cancer, combined.
  • One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • In 2013, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s totaled an estimated $203 billion, including $142 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Unless something is done, Alzheimer’s will cost an estimated $1.2 trillion (in today’s dollars) in 2050. Costs to Medicare and Medicaid will increase over 500 percent.
  • While deaths from other major diseases, such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke, continue to decline significantly, Alzheimer’s deaths continue to rise⎯increasing 68 percent between 2000 and 2010.

I want to do my part to fight this fatal disease⎯but I can’t do it without your help. All the funds we raise will help the Alzheimer’s Association to advance important research into better treatments and a possible cure. We are starting to see some promising trends. And for the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.

My personal goal this year is $4,000. Because of you, I was one of the top individual fundraisers in Central Massachusetts and a member of the High Stepper group in the Commonwealth. My team, DFA On The Move, raised over $6,000 last year. I invite you to join me in walking and raising funds from your own contacts. My team goal is $5,000! I welcome your company and your support. Contributions in any amount are very important and much appreciated.

To support DFA On The Move, please visit My Fundraising Page. Thanks for your support. Together we can make a difference!

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care™ manager. Drawing on more than 30 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

Photo Credit: Pierre Amerlynck

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