ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and more than five million Americans are living the disease.
“It’s an epidemic. Right now, there’s almost six million people living with Alzheimer’s in America. Every 65 seconds someone in America is developing Alzheimer’s,” said Buffy Hankinson, program director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter Tifton Service Area.
The Alzheimer’s Association said the progressive brain disorder kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Wandering is one the most common behaviors from someone suffering from dementia.
“We say six out of 10 usually wander. I tell caregivers it’s not a matter of if but when. Whether they get confused, folks go the mailbox turn around and don’t recognize their own home,” Hankinson said.
Hankinson offered several tips, like buying door alarms or putting a lock at the top of the door or even putting down a black mat in front of doors.
“The person with dementia often has problems with depth perception or visual problems, so they actually think there’s a hole in front of the doorway. You just can’t let them see you do it,” she said.
You also want to make sure guns are locked up or unloaded and put away.
Currently, scientists still don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s disease and there is no known cure but research is ongoing.
You can help with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s by helping raise money for that research to find the first survivor.
“Caregivers come together to honor those they’ve lost, those that they’re caring for and we even have folks living with the disease who walk with us to walk for a cure,” Hankinson said.
Below are the goal amounts for Alzheimer’s walks in the WALB viewing area:
- Albany/Thomasville: $75,500
- Tifton: $73,500
- Bainbridge: $61,500
- Valdosta: $44,500
Below are links to register for the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s: