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Women’s Health and Alzheimer’s Awareness

by Jessica B. November 20th, 2013 | Health Observance, Women's Health
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SONY DSCThis month is Alzheimer’s awareness month, raising attention for Alzheimer’s is important for women’s health. Women are the highest risk group for getting Alzheimer’s or becoming caretakers of Alzheimer’s sufferers. Here are a few things you can do to raise awareness for this difficult disease and some important information you should know about how the illness affects women.

These figures are from the 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures from The Alzheimer’s Association:

1) 10 million women are affected by Alzheimer’s in their life, either as sufferers of as caretakers of sufferers.

2) Approximately 35% of women who care for an Alzheimer’s sufferer say they did not choose to become a caregiver, but have no other options.

3) Women make up a majority of people suffering from Alzheimer’s, and they are approximately 2/3 of Alzheimer’s patients.

4) Right now, someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds, by 2050 it will be every 33 seconds.

5) Women have a higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s as they get older than men. At 65, women who do not have the disease have a 17.2% chance of getting the disease, while men have a 9.1 chance.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early diagnosis is an important tool to help and care for those who are diagnosed. If picked up early, there are medications the patient can take and they can be observed over time to prevent other accidents and issues. Without medication, there is a risk that dementia becomes worse and it can strongly impact the entire family.

There are a few things that researchers have said can make a difference in developing Alzheimer’s, and one of the biggest ones is keeping up mental activity as you get older. While there is no proven way to keep your mind sharp to fight Alzheimer’s, keeping up learning is a great way to improve overall health. Anything from doing crosswords or Sudoku, to learning a new language, can be a great way to keep up your mental activity to fight Alzheimer’s in the future.

Keep moving. Physical activity can help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Make sure if you are at risk that you take a brisk walk daily. If there is a risk of someone getting lost, the brisk walk can be taken on a treadmill while watching a favorite TV program or listening to an audio book.

(Photo courtesy of Marcelo Mokrejs)

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.