November 27, 2007

Because President Bush Said So

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month because President Bush said so. Well, President Regan said so first in 1983, but that sort of fizzled out.

But, we can’t look at this as just some political good deed, but as a time for awareness about the disease as it becomes more prevalent in our world. As this number of people with Alzheimer’s begins to rise, so does the cost of living and healthcare for many. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that nearly 4.9 million Americans over the age of 65 are currently suffering with the disease. Many of us are among the 4.9 million families that have been affected by Alzheimer’s.

As the disease becomes more common, the simplest action for us to take is to gain a knowledge and understanding of the disease so that we can know the warning signs and symptoms, as well as know how to support our friends and family as they deal with Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a wonderful website that gives basic information about the disease, as well as resources for people suffering with the disease, their caregivers, and their support networks.

My favorite book dealing with the subject is The Wind Garden by Angela McAllister. It’s a lovely children’s book about a young girl named Ellie who looks out for her Grandpa. Her Grandpa reminds me of my own Grandma as he spends his days sitting on this porch remembering. The book itself is aimed at children 10 and under, but shoot, I read it all the time. It’s a really beautiful book.

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