LETTER: Alzheimer’s Disease: A National and Local Crisis

To the Editor:

Alzheimer’s disease is a national and local crisis, and if we don’t aggressively fund research for treatments and an eventual cure, it will continue to ravage our seniors. The size of the U.S. population aged 65 and older will continue to grow from 58 million in 2021 to 88 million by 2050. As risks for dementia increase with age, so too will the number and proportion of Americans that will be impacted by the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association recently released its 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report. The headlines are daunting:

• One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

• In Ohio, there are 220,000 people ages 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. But in three years, that number will grow 13.6 percent to 250,000 Ohioans.

• There are 421,000 family and friends in Ohio acting as caregivers.

It’s hard being a caregiver for someone who has a progressive brain disease. For those living with the disease, new treatments are being developed and tested every day.

Let’s hope you never have to deal with Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you are experiencing some cognitive impairment go to your doctor. Early diagnosis is key. And contact the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter at alz.org/dayton or 937-291-3332.

— Eric J. Sedwick, MBA, CPC, CPRP

Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter Board President