Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and by 2050 that number could rise as high as 16 million. In 2016, 15 million Americans provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $230 billion. The Alzheimer’s Association is working to combat this disease before the crisis bankrupts our health care system.
Did you know that The Alzheimer’s Association now has an office right here in State College? Having a local presence in the region enables us to provide a wealth of information and referral services to your family and others who are living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. Information on the programs and services we provide is available at alz.org/pa or at our 24-hour helpline, 800-272-3900. We offer extensive information either online or in our office on the disease, local resources for care and community educational programs.
In addition to our support and education resources, The Alzheimer’s Association is continually striving for a cure. We advocate for research and care funding with our federal and state legislators on a regular basis and have been instrumental in achieving significant increases in research funding for efforts to control and ultimately stop this disease from its current course of destruction. Important research is being done right here at Penn State with Gong Chen, a biologist dedicated to reversing brain damage within the next 20 years.
We can’t fulfill our mission alone, and need your help to accomplish our goals. Locally, we have some engaging and entertaining ways that you can help. For Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month in June, we have three exciting events planned. First is an educational conference featuring Chen on June 8th. Caregivers may attend at a reduced rate. New this year is a special event for the ladies on June 17th at Barrel 21, “Pumps & Pearlz.” You and your friends can enjoy a memorable brunch with a silent auction, a wine pull and chances available to win some amazing jewelry. Last but not least, “The Longest Day” is on June 21, the summer solstice. On this date, participants can do what they love honoring their loved ones to raise awareness and funds for this worthy cause. Bridge, bowling, board games, hiking, swimming — the possibilities are endless.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Oct. 28th at Medlar Field. This is our largest fundraiser, and teams are getting registered.
For more information on these events, resources and opportunities or to join our cause, call 954-5990.
Hilary Harry is the education and outreach coordinator for The Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA Chapter.