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Beacon of HOPE Wellness Committee: Are you or is someone you know having memory problems?

January 3, 2018
By AMY SCHENK , Pine Island Eagle

It's estimated that over 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease, and in the state of Florida it's around 550,000. By the year 2050, the number of individuals with Alzheimer's disease could reach as high as 15 million people. To put that in perspective, that is close to the current population of the states of Georgia and South Carolina combined. Every 66 seconds someone develops the disease. In Lee County alone it is estimated that over 20,000 people have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia.

Alzheimer's disease kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and in Florida. It is estimated that over 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for others with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. The financial, physical and emotional impact is significant.

It's hard to know the difference between age-related changes and potential signs of Alzheimer's disease. As we get older our memory changes. But memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. Dementia is a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. It is a progressive, fatal disease that damages nerve cells which results in the loss of memory, thinking ability and brain function.

Early diagnosis is important. There are conditions that can look like Alzheimer's disease but are treatable. Knowing your diagnosis early helps individuals and their families to plan for the future. In addition, they may benefit from medication or be able to participate in a clinical trial.

Together with the Beacon of HOPE and Centennial Bank, the Alzheimer's Association is bringing the Memory Mobile to Pine Island. The Memory Mobile is made possible from funding from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and provides education and support in 17 counties in western Florida.

The Memory Mobile will provide education on the 10 warning signs, community resources, and other topics related to Alzheimer's disease. It will be here Tuesday, Jan. 9, and Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Centennial Bank (formerly Stonegate Bank), 5551 Sunset Lane, St James City, 33956. Appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes and you can make an appointment by calling 239-283-5123.

The Beacon of HOPE is located at 5090 Doug Taylor Circle, St James City. You can contact them as well at wellbeacon@gmail.com, 239-283-5123 or on line at beaconofhopepineisland.com

Amy Schenk is program director of the Alzheimer's Association.

 
 

 

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