Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disease that slowly destroys memory and other mental abilities. As the disease progresses, so does the loss of reasoning, ability language, decision-making ability, judgment and other critical skills.
It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s Disease, and the incidence of the disease is rising in line with the aging population. The risk of developing the illness increases with advanced age. Current research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease doubles every five years beyond age 65. It is also estimated that about half a million Americans younger than age 65 have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease.
This disease poses real challenges for both the person with the disease and to their caregivers—both at home and in the institutional setting. In the United States, there are at least 15 million family members caring for persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, at least 60% of nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or some other dementia.
Alzheimer’s Education, Resources & Services, Inc. (AERS) is a non-profit corporation which seeks to provide education about Alzheimer’s Disease to family caregivers, staff of care facilities and other medical professionals, as well as the general public. AERS also provides information and counseling to family caregivers and supports the efforts of local caregiver support groups.