Accompanying Palmer to sign the proclamation was the Gordon County Alzheimer’s Committee who plan events to raise money to benefit finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.
According to Morning Pointe Executive Director, Derek Dickard, patients being treated with some form of Alzheimer’s or Dementia are younger and younger.
“Every 68 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a form of dementia,” said Dickard. “Last year we had 12 people under (age) 70 and two people under (age) 60, that we were taking care of with dementia.”The proclamation states that one in eight persons over 65 have Alzheimer’s, nearly half of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s disease, 200,000 under the age of 65 with young onset Alzheimer’s, and a small percentage of people as young as their 30’s and 40’s get the disease.
A person with Alzheimer’s disease will live an average of eight years and as many as 20 years or more from the onset of symptoms, and is the sixth leading cause of death. Due the absence of a cure for the disease, rapid onset and death can cause devastation to family members with a loved one with the disease, and the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s is growing at an alarming rate, with development of the disease in someone’s friend or family member, every 33 seconds by year 2050.
“I believe Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing that affects any family, it is not just an individual, it’s a family disease because it affects so many people,” said Palmer. “We are just very hopeful there is a cure on the horizon to help. I have seen it professionally, the devastation it can cause throughout the family and the sadness associated with it.”
An Alzheimer’s support group is offered at Morning Pointe of Calhoun, according to Dickard, the third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m.
The New Echota River Alliance will have a “Paddle for the Cure,” event, Sept. 20 to raise money for a cure.Additionally, in support of awareness and prevention, the Gordon County community is being challenged to wear the color purple on Sept. 21.
The annual Calhoun “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” will be held Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Calhoun Recreation Department on River Street. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Teams can participate in the walk and raise money online for a cure, and compete for a chance to win the “Joy Powell,” honoring a local woman who is fighting her own battle, but still is working to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s.
Register online to start a fundraising team today at www.alz.org/walk or call 1-800-272-3900. For more information about the walk or to register a team, contact Karen Ingle Parrott at 706-346-5220 or 706-624-5333, or any other committee member.