Local official weighs in on Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

September is World Alzheimer’s awareness month and officials say research today is far better than it was 10 years ago. One hundred thousand people in Maryland suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and across the country, over 5 million. But by 2050, experts are predicting those numbers to triple. That’s according to Carol Zimmerman of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Zimmerman tells 47 ABC, “We know a lot more today and unfortunately we know that those numbers are growing every single day.” She says many people do go undiagnosed, but today, doctors are doing a lot more in terms of understanding the disease, like cognitive testing.

Zimmerman tells 47 ABC, “We used to only be able to tell Alzheimer’s upon autopsy that they had them that the amyloid plaques that causes that disease in the brain.” But she says Pet imaging has changed all that. Doctors can now use this nuclear type of medicine to even see what stage of Alzheimer’s is affecting the brain.

Widening research is also helping those afflicted with the disease. For instance, a program called Trial Match, which is a clinical studies matching service. It aims to connect those with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers, and even healthy volunteers to physicians with current studies.

Zimmerman tells 47 ABC, “People think of it as an old peoples disease but in fact people are being diagnosed in their 50’s now.” She says even though there is no cure, she hopes in the next decade that will change.

Zimmerman tells 47 ABC, “The next 10 years hopefully well not only find a cure but physicians will be right on top of this.”

If you know someone that suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, Home Instead Senior Care is making a little bit easier to notify your loved ones if they ever go missing. 47 ABC spoke with Co-owner of Home Instead Senior Care Don Boger, who says they’ve created a website to notify everyone you know as soon as that person does go missing.

Created last month, the website, which is completely free allows you to set up an account for yourself and then add everyone you know, whether its family members, friends, or businesses to be notified. Boger says depending on your preference, the person can get a phone call or a text message.

Boger tells 47 ABC “Often times people try to find them themselves they call neighbors and if we said if you don’t find them soon things can happen to them. This is just a great way to, again, notify family members loved ones, local businesses, especially restaurants and things where you go a lot. We know it’s not going to be the only resource, obviously we still recommend that you call the police and go through all the other things that you would normally do, but it’s just another way to help alert everyone.”

Boger says there is another website that folks can go to get additional information on wandering, what causes it and what you can do to prevent it from happening. Those websites are, Missingseniornetwork.com and Preventwandering.com.

Categories: Health, Local News, Maryland