Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness that involves the destruction of brain cells. In its earliest stages, symptoms include a decrease in short-term memory and forgetfulness, often accompanied by a diminished ability to find words. Emotional and personality changes in the early stages maAlzheimer’s is a progressive illness that involves the destruction of brain cells. In its earliest stages, symptoms include a decrease in short-term memory and forgetfulness, often accompanied by a diminished ability to find words. Emotional and personality changes in the early stages may include depression, anger and paranoia. As the disease progresses, the memory loss becomes severe and may be accompanied by marked disturbances in behavior and emotion; the ability to reason is lost. In its final stages, a person is unable to perform most tasks and requires total assistance with feeding, bathing and basic hygiene.

Twenty-six-thousand people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the state of Hawai‘i as of the year 2015. Alzheimer’s ranks as the sixth leading cause of death nationwide. Of the top 10 causes of death in America, it is the only one that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women. One in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Payments for health care are estimated to reach $226 billion in 2015. If medical researchers cannot find a solution to the disease, Alzheimer’s is estimated to be the number one disease which will bankrupt the health care system.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, you are not alone. Go to www.alzheimernavigator.org to create a customized action plan and connect with local support services.

 


Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter
24/7 Helpline: 1-800-272-3900
Informtion and Virtual Library: www.alz.org

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