Pennsylvania Department of Aging Recognizes November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

alzheimers_awareness_month_flyer-p2443096846390632692rzek_400Harrisburg – Secretary of Aging Brian Duke is recognizing November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and encourages Pennsylvanians to learn more about this debilitating disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the nation’s seventh leading cause of death.

Pennsylvania’s aging population ranks as the fourth grayest state in the nation. The U.S. Census predicts that by 2015, one in four Pennsylvanians will be 60 years and older. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias in the state.

For this reason, Governor Tom Corbett created the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee. The committee is developing an Alzheimer’s state plan with recommendations to be presented to the governor in February 2014.

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that touches many Pennsylvanians,” Duke said. “I am pleased that the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee is developing a plan that will help the commonwealth address this disease through increased emphasis on education and coordination of resources in order to provide support for those living with the disease and their caregivers.”

The Alzheimer’s Association calculates that 5.3 million Americans currently have the disease and that every 69 seconds another U.S. citizen develops Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that direct costs of providing care for those with the disease and other dementias is more than $200 billion.

The Department of Aging and the state’s 52 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, dementia care and respite centers.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease  and the Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee, visit www.aging.state.pa.us.

~ News Release via the Pennsylvania Department of Aging ~

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