istock_000037230868largesmAlzheimer’s is one of the most common form of more than 100 forms of dementias. The disease attacks brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging; it is a progressive disease that worsens over time affecting nearly one in three older adults who die each year.

Alzheimer’s is the fourth leading cause of death among people 65 years old and older in Arizona .

Alzheimer’s has physical, psychological, social and economic impact on caregivers, families and our society. People with newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and various other chronic conditions. Those living in the community with Alzheimer’s disease are hospitalized more frequently than those at the same age and gender without it.

Our Healthy Aging Program campaigns have aimed to ease caregivers’ burden and increase communication with medical providers for dementia by tackling the public’s fears of talking about the condition. I am calling for the public not to delay talking about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

We have actively contributed to the implementation of the “State Plan: A Framework for Action,” that includes a call to action for individuals, families, and community members in how each of us can help address this growing need. We are also working with our community partners, to create a single-source access to statewide resources for caregivers.

For more resources, please visit the Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest website or call the 24/7 hotline at 1-800-272-3900.