WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive and degenerative brain disease that affects memory, thinking, decision-making, and behavioral processes, and hinders the cognitive ability to care for oneself, eventually leading to death; and
WHEREAS, the projected number of Alaskans age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s will grow from 8,500 in 2020 to 12,000 in 2025. These projections do not include the number of persons with related dementias, such as Vascular dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy body dementia, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, Mixed dementia, or those younger than 65 with Alzheimer’s; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult and expensive disease to manage that requires greater utilization of inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility stays, and home health care visits in comparison to other older people without dementia. Nearly one in ten seniors age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. Of people with Alzheimer’s, 82 percent are age 75 and older; and
WHEREAS, the care provided by family and other caregivers to loved ones with Alzheimer’s helps to offset the impact on Alaska’s budget. In 2020, approximately 33,000 Alaskans provided an estimated 38 million hours of informal, unpaid assistance valued at $479 million by helping with activities of daily living, taking medications and adhering to medical treatment, managing behavioral symptoms, coordinating decision-making regarding care, among other caregiving tasks; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about this growing public health concern, its symptoms, and the importance of early detection so that Alaskans are able to connect with resources and services that offer assistance such as the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska, adult day programs, family caregiver support programs, and related senior service providers.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim November 2022 as:
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to become educated about this disease, to personally engage in healthy behaviors to promote brain health, to support those with the disease and their loved ones who care for them, and to remember those who have been lost to Alzheimer’s disease.