Recently, Bill Gates pledged fifty million dollars of his own money in a quest to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Mr. Gates cited the growing economic and emotional toll Alzheimer’s has on families worldwide for the reason for his contribution.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2017 Americans spent $259 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
The Alzheimer’s Association also estimates that you have a nearly 50 percent chance of developing the disease if you live into your mid-80s. Research indicates African Americans and Latinos are more likely than whites to develop Alzheimer’s.
I am certain many of you reading this post know of a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s.
In my family both of my grandmothers and an aunt have died of complications from Alzheimer’s. My mother is in the final stages of a decade long battle with the disease which has now also gripped two of her sisters.
As Mr. Gates noted despite the increase in disease scientists have yet to figure out what exactly causes Alzheimer’s or how to stop the disease from destroying the brain.
Finding A Cure – Three Things We Can We Do?
The 50 million given by Mr. Gates will go to the Dementia Discovery Fund a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline for Alzheimer’s treatment.
While you and I may not be able to drop 50 million we can become part of drive for a cure. Check out three things we can do.
One: Inform Yourself About Alzheimer’s
Our friends at Alzheimers.net have a wonderful infographic that you can share on your favorite social media site — simply use the one-click buttons at the top of the page. The infographic includes effective ways you can join the fight against the disease, from joining clinical trials to writing your congressperson. We hope you’ll find it a great tool for raising awareness. And, after learning and sharing, it’s just one more step to start doing.
Two: Participate in National Memory Screening
The National Memory Screening event aims to provide free memory tests with the goal of early detection and treatment for those showing signs of cognitive impairment. You can be a source of encouragement and strength for friends, family and loved ones simply by participating, but if you would like to do more to raise awareness, host or visit a site near you. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides the materials, and you locate a willing health care professional to administer the testing. Visit their website for more information.
Three: Make a Donation to an Alzheimer’s Organization
There are truly so many ways to donate, and there are numerous opportunities listed on the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America web pages, if you need a place to start. You can simply donate money online and it will go towards the fight to end Alzheimer’s, but there are other ways to donate, too — you can donate stock or an old car and receive some tax benefits to boot; you can donate to the cause of a participant in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s; you can plan a bequest in your will; and much more.
It’s Time For A Cure
Alzheimer’s is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States and it is the only one without any meaningful treatments that are reversing the trend.
Bill Gates knows that a person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition.
Bill Gates knows that unlike those with many chronic diseases, people with Alzheimer’s incur long-term care costs as well as direct medical expenses that will last for decades.
Bill Gates knows how difficult it is to watch a loved ones suffer from cognitive decline and slowly disappear.
I agree with Bill Gates, let’s cure Alzheimer’s
Marben Bland, is the pastor of Hall Chapel and Mitchell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Sparta, Georgia and is the Chairperson for the Handcock Health Improvement Partnership. Read more of his posts at www.marbenbland.com