Thursday, November 5, 2009

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month & Family Caregiver Month- Get A Perspective Already!

I blogged about an image a few weeks ago, but I never gave it out. We talk constantly and we quote constantly that latest number of victims. 5.3 million. 5.3 million. The Alzheimer's Association presents the updated figure for us all to see and quote. It keeps growing. 5.3 million. 5.3 million victims. I remember when it was only four million. It keeps growing. We throw that number around like a coffee table book. We know its a lot of people and its going to be a lot more people in years to come. How many people is 5.3 million people. Its about the same exact number of the population of the state in which I reside- Minnesota. It's a couple million more than the entire population of the great city of Los Angeles. For every man woman and child in the entire state of Wyoming there are 10 Alzheimer's victims. 5.3 million. Every single one adds up to 5.3 million, and so it goes. How many people is that?

If you could name every single person with AD, their first and last name, and you spent 8 hours a day non-stop with no lunch break reciting the names of every single person with AD in the United States, it would take you just about 366 days to do so.

If you could write down every single name it would take you about 2 years to list everyone. 5.3 million. We just throw that number around. We need to raise money and do something about it. We need to help our victims and our caregivers,and the years keep rolling by and the Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act keeps dying in every congress. Year after Year after Year.

We keep raising awareness right? What does it really mean. We have wonderful Gala's and walks and raise money for research and to help the caregivers and provide support right? Granted it is truly impossible to trace a dollar we donate to an Alzheimer's cause. Where exactly does it end up? I think the goal of raising awareness and conducting research and donating dollars is to find better treatments and find a cure, to stop AD, to support and HELP the caregivers. Maybe it is the only paradigm our society knows. Some day it will happen. I don't know how or when, but someday.

So for for all those caregivers right know, who are sitting up with a loved one, putting them to bed for the 9th time, helping them to the bathroom, driving them to the countless doctors appointments, struggling out of the car, or into the car, navigating the walk through the parking lot.... it has not happened yet. We keep raising awareness, but are we really? Is it really happening? Will the cure happen in our generation? Our children's generation? Our grandchildren? Tommorrow?

A lot of cures and discoveries actually happen by accident. Sometimes when we are looking for something else we find the answer.

5.3 million. We are desensitised to the meaning of that number. 5.3 million.
So if every person right now, that is stricken and dying from Alzheimer's disease as you read this, if every person could stand up and hold hands with another person with Alzheimer's, all 5.3 million, they could stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder holding hands. That 5.3 million person chain would easily stretch across the country unbroken, from Seattle to Miami, with no problem. Its pretty basic, do the math. 5.3 million. 5.3 million

5.3 Million
The Alzheimer's Chain.................


karen said...

Thank you. This post is great. You need to send it to someone . The morning show. Good morning america, the early show. It is a great post . Send it to the news.The president needs to read this.

Joseph Potocny said...

I agree Doc. I suffer and same the same on my blog. Problem is we are not a political threat. Natl. healthcare that is what they want, they can then get rid of us, because we will count even less.

Talking about the book with the Lake Superior wind....... a calm day