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Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Effective Date: Thursday, November 1st, 2012

WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease is a severe degenerative disorder of the brain that affects the memory, thinking processes, reasoning ability, behavior, and ability to care for oneself, eventually leading to death; and

WHEREAS, in Alaska, over 6,000 people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. This number is expected to increase as Alaska’s senior population continues to grow at a rate faster than that of any other state; and

WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease is now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death for Americans aged 55 years and older; and

WHEREAS, those suffering from Alzheimer’s require special care, often provided lovingly by family and friends. In 2010, Alaskans invested time equivalent to a cost of $213 million while caring for a loved one with dementia; and

WHEREAS, while there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, resources are available to help families, friends, and patients suffering from its effects. The Alaska Commission on Aging and other organizations carry valuable information about preventing and coping with the disease; and

WHEREAS, early detection is crucial to ensuring the best treatment and quality of life possible for patients with Alzheimer’s. Older adults encountering problems such as unusual memory loss, difficulty concentrating or solving problems, forgetting what day it is, and dramatic changes in mood or personality should consult a healthcare provider to determine their risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease; and

WHEREAS, in 1982, 12 years before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed a week of observance for this disorder, noting that “family members and friends of the afflicted fully comprehend the special suffering imposed by this depersonalizing illness;” and

WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase awareness of the disease and those impacted by it. We reaffirm the great value of every Alaskan at every stage of life, and recognize the many individuals dealing with this disease as patients, caregivers, and loved ones.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim November 2012 as:

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

in Alaska, and urge Alaskans to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, support those working towards a cure or seeking to improve the lives of those affected by it, encourage and assist patients with Alzheimer’s, and remember those who have been lost to this devastating disease.

Dated: October 29, 2012

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