Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September is World Alzheimer's Awareness Month #EndAlzNow

Today is my birthday. I am one year older - officially late 30s. (Or as The Husband calls it, "the wrong side of 30.") And I worry about getting older more and more. I want to try to live for as long as a I can and to be healthy for as long as I can.

Part of trying to live forever is being aware and trying to take care of myself now. I know I need to lose weight, eat better, brush my teeth twice a day and remember to floss - these are all things that will help improve/maintain my overall health.   

But I also worry about Alzheimer's.  Both of my grandmothers had it.

I remember how sad it was seeing my grandmothers and have them not remember me. Even though they both lived with us for significant amounts of time. It was sad that when I saw them, I could no longer communicate with them because they had both lost the ability to speak English. They lost all track of time, forgetting where they were and who they loved. Alzheimer's robbed both of my grandmothers of their memories. And it was extremely difficult for my family.   

I don't want The Boy to experience that kind of pain. (He may not even be able to understand.) As his mother, I always want to know who he is. I don't want to be robbed of any of my memories of him.

I worry about my parents - they are both over 60 years old. Will the day come when they no longer remember me or my siblings? Will the day come when they no longer remember The Boy? The Boy is their only grandchild and he is extremely attached to them, especially my mother

The Boy with my parents
I am at the age, where I've experienced the loss of loved ones. I am at the age where some of friends have already lost their parents and I have mourned with them.

I want my parents to be healthy and live for as long as they can. Which is why I've registered for the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry

What's the Registry?
It's a community of people interested in making an impact on Alzheimer's research to help stop the disease. The goal is to keep enrollees informed of the latest news and advocacy to drive focus on Alzheimer's.

Who is eligible for the Registry?
The Registry is open to anyone 18 and older. 

How do I join the Registry? 
It's quick and easy! Just visit www.endalznow.org to sign up. By signing up, you will have access to information and resources about what’s being done to fight this disease. (You might also be asked to be part of a research study, which is always your choice and you have no obligation to be part of!)

KEY POINTS on Alzheimer's
  • Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and is not a normal part of aging
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. And the only one of the top 10 causes of death that cannot currently be prevented, treated or cured
  • 5.4 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s, and someone is diagnosed every 6.9 seconds
KEY POINTS on Alzheimer's and LATINOS
  • Latinos are one-and-a-half more likely than whites to have Alzheimer's but are less likely than whites to receive a diagnosis. The average age when initial symptoms appear in Latinos is 6.8 years earlier than in whites.
  • The number of Latinos with Alzheimer's and related dementias in the United States could increase more than six-fold by 2050, to as many as 1.3 million cases from fewer than 200,000 today..
  • Age is a major risk factor associated with Alzheimer's and life expectancy for Hispanics will increase to age 87 by 2050 - surpassing that of all other racial groups in the nation.
For  More Information on Alzheimers  

* This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The Motherhood and Banner's Alzheimer's Institute. All opinions, ideas and stories are my own. 

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.