November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and, fittingly, also Family Caregiver Awareness Month. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as a month to focus on the seriousness of Alzheimer’s. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had the disease. Today, that number has more than doubled.
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating neurological condition that causes loved ones to lose memories and sometimes even basic functionalities. According to the American Academy of Neurology, the number of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s will triple over the next 40 years, reaching nearly 14 million people needing treatments to both keep them safe and maintain their quality of life. The Alzheimer’s Association has pulled together 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, aimed at helping us recognize when our loved ones may be starting down that path.
Hand-in-hand with Alzheimer’s comes caregiving from family members. It’s fitting that in this month of gratitude we can celebrate those who embody the grace and selflessness that go along with being a caregiver. We should all take a moment to say our thanks to those we know who are serving, and be grateful to so many of those we don’t know who are making a difference by taking care of their loved ones. The National Alzheimer’s Association also has a place where you can honor a caregiver online.
When it comes to illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to consider protecting your loved ones financially from the costs that can come along with falling ill. Long-term care insurance is a great option to help cover costs for in-home healthcare, nursing home care, hospice, and other costs that come along with long-term illnesses.
If you'd like to discuss potential long-term care needs, please feel free to reach out to me.