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I have lost both parents, a grandmother, an aunt and a cousin to Alzheimer’s Disease. They all died either of the disease itself, or of another cause but in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. Currently, a cousin from each side of my family is living with the disease. One is in advanced stages in a nursing home and the other is beginning to lose ground.
The numbers stagger me. Every 63 seconds a new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s occurs in the US. 40 years ago, when my grandmother was diagnosed, very few people had heard of the disease. Now, it seems as if every new acquaintance has a family member or friend stricken with Alzheimer’s.
Age is no longer a factor although most cases are diagnosed after age 65. Early onset Alzheimer’s seems to be more and more common. The youngest person on record with Alzheimer’s is a two-year-old toddler. Death from the disease takes from 8-10 years after diagnosis usually. There is no cure, and currently treatment is woefully inadequate.
This book is both a personal story of a decade-long journey of caregiving as well as a call to arms for funding and research of this terminal disease.