HARRISBURG – Secretary of Aging Brian Duke is marking November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month by recognizing citizens and their families affected by Alzheimer’s and encouraging Pennsylvanians to learn more about the debilitating disease.
“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that touches many Pennsylvanians,” Duke said. “Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month emphasizes education about the disease and brings understanding and support for caregivers who unselfishly give of themselves to help a loved one or friend.”
Alzheimer’s disease affects one in every eight people over the age of 65 and is the nation’s seventh leading cause of death. In Pennsylvania, it is estimated that nearly 280,000 people age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss that disrupts daily life, challenges with problem solving, losing track of time or place, and trouble with speaking or writing.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean that an individual has Alzheimer’s disease, so if you or a loved one exhibits any of these conditions you should consult with a medical doctor to get a complete diagnosis.
The Department of Aging and the state’s Area Agencies on Aging can provide information to persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers on services such as adult day centers, geriatric assessment centers and dementia care and respite centers.
Duke encourages all Pennsylvanians to become more educated about Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, visit www.aging.state.pa.us or call your local Area Agency on Aging.