Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain heath.
THE HEALTHCARE CRISIS OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States today, and the only one in the top 10 that cannot currently be slowed, stopped, prevented, or cured. Alzheimer’s is not normal aging, but rather, is a universally fatal, irreversible, neurodegenerative disease. There are no survivors. While symptoms begin with memory loss, as the disease progresses, it robs its victims of the ability to care for themselves. Eventually people with the disease forget how to walk, talk, swallow and breathe, requiring 24-hour care.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias today. With the aging of the Baby Boomer generation—as 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day—these numbers are projected to triple by 2050. Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America, currently accounting for one of every five Medicare dollars spent. That figure will increase to one of every three dollars by mid-century in the absence of an effective treatment.
Caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia experience an equally devastating toll financially, physically and emotionally. On top of healthcare and living expenses last year, more than 220,000 Oklahoma caregivers provided over 250 million hours of care valued at over $3 billion. Caring for someone with this disease is so demanding that many people are forced to quit or take a leave of absence from their jobs, and often experience significant health ailments of their own, sometimes even pre-deceasing their loved one.
Until our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s is a reality, the Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is dedicated to providing education, awareness, advocacy, care and support for all those affected by this devastating disease.