HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Aging Brian Duke is recognizing November as Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and encourages Pennsylvanians to learn more about this debilitating disease. Alzheimer's disease is the nation's seventh leading cause of death.
Pennsylvania's aging population ranks as the fourth grayest state in the nation. The U.S. Census predicts that by 2015, one in four Pennsylvanians will be 60 years and older. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias in the state.
For this reason, Governor Tom Corbett created the Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease Planning Committee. The committee is developing an Alzheimer's state plan with recommendations to be presented to the governor in February 2014.
"Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that touches many Pennsylvanians," Duke said. "I am pleased that the Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease Planning Committee is developing a plan that will help the commonwealth address this disease through increased emphasis on education and coordination of resources in order to provide support for those living with the disease and their caregivers."
The Alzheimer's Association calculates that 5.3 million Americans currently have the disease and that every 69 seconds another U.S. citizen develops Alzheimer's. It is estimated that direct costs of providing care for those with the disease and other dementias is more than $200 billion.
The Department of Aging and the state's 52 Area Agencies on Aging can provide information to persons living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers on services such as adult day centers, geriatric assessment centers, dementia care and respite centers.
For more information on Alzheimer's disease and the Alzheimer's Disease Planning Committee, visit www.aging.state.pa.us
Media contact: Christina Reese, 717-783-1550
Editor's Note: The text of the Governor's Proclamation for Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month follows:
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH
WHEREAS, Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, causing deterioration in memory and thought as well as judgment and reasoning ability; with potentially devastating effects on behavior, emotions and the ability to care for oneself; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania ranks 4th in the United States for highest population of people over the age of 65; with 400,000 of its older adults currently living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in citizens age 65 and older; with a new diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder such as dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Parkinson's disease, amytropic lateral sclerosis and mixed dementia occurring every 69 seconds in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, the National Institute on Aging estimates that the total cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias will cost $203 billion in 2013, and will increase to $1.2 trillion by midcentury; and
WHEREAS, neither Medicare nor most private health insurers to date cover the long-term care services and support people with dementia need, nor the intervention of new medical technologies to arrest its progression; and
WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease Planning Committee is committed to formulating a comprehensive strategy to address the endemic Alzheimer's disease crisis in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes individuals, families, friends and caregivers in the path of the affliction while heralding the scientists and physicians, medical professionals and dedicated institutes seeking the treatment and cure of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim November 2013 as ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH in Pennsylvania and encourage all citizens to acknowledge the importance and urgency of the challenge before us.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on this twenty-third day of October in the Year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging