LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Watching a loved one’s memory fade can be a heartbreaking experience. Most of us know a relative, friend or neighbor struggling with Alzheimer’s. In fact, there are 170,000 people in North Carolina living with Alzheimer’s and every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease.
Alzheimer’s touches everyone’s family. Take a look at these staggering statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association:
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
- An estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with the disease, including 170,000 North Carolina residents, a number estimated to grow to as many as 14 million by year 2050.
- More than 16 million family and friends, including 473,000 in North Carolina, provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in the United States.
- In 2018, friends and family of those with Alzheimer’s in North Carolina provided an estimated 538 million hours of unpaid care, a contribution valued at $6.8 billion.
The Alzheimer’s Association Eastern North Carolina Chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in 51 eastern North Carolina counties.
Since Alzheimer’s not only impacts the person with the disease but also their caregivers, the Alzheimer’s Association is hosting two upcoming forums in Southeastern NC to connect people with available resources.
The first forum will be held Thursday, Sept, 19, from 6-8 p.m. at Coastal Carolina Community College. The goal of the “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer’s: A Conversation about Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Memory Loss” forum is to bring together local residents who have been affected by the disease or other forms of dementia.
“This forum is open to anyone who has been affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Peggy Best who serves as the Director of Programs and Outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association Eastern North Carolina Chapter. “Its to listen to the experiences of the community, identify the needs and gaps in resources, but its also to empower the community to establish a network of support and build community partnerships.”
There is no charge to attend but registration is requested at https://tinyurl.com/Sept19ALZForum or call 800-272-3900.
Next month, the Alzheimer’s Association will host a dementia-education workshop in Brunswick County entitled “R.E.A.C.H.: A Look at Alzheimer’s Research, Education, Action and Community Health.” It will take place on Friday, Oct. 25, from 8:00 a.m. – Noon at The Brunswick Center at Supply.
Registration is encouraged. To sign up, visit https://tinyurl.com/Oct25ALZSupply or call 800-272-3900.
“Its important to get involved because a lot of times families and caregivers don’t know where to go to get the information and resources or the support that they need but its also a collaborative opportunity to get together and realize they are not alone in this fight,” Best said.
A benefit walk for the Alzheimer’s Association will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, in Wilmington.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, or the Alzheimer’s Association, Eastern North Carolina Chapter, visit www.alz.org/nc or call 800-272-3900.