An estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020. This means that in the United States, 1 in 10 people in this age range has Alzheimer’s. By 2050 these numbers are projected to increase by more than double, to a total of 13.8 million individuals living with the disease. These are shocking statistics that should concern and drive us to action. However, many are still unclear on what Alzheimer’s and dementia are, even using the terms Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms associated with cognitive decline. Whereas Alzheimer’s disease is a specific diagnosis and type of dementia. Out of all types of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. In addition, studies have shown that those 65 and older, survive an average of 4 to 8 years after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Some individuals have lived for as long as 20 years with the disease. This long decline has given Alzheimer’s the reputation of, “The Longest Loss.”
These statistics are staggering and illustrate how prevalent and widespread Alzheimer’s disease is. Chances are that each of us knows someone personally who has been affected by The Longest Loss. For those of us who have a personal connection to the disease, we understand just how difficult it is to lose someone we love to Alzheimer’s. We also understand how damaging Alzheimer’s is to families, friendships, and communities.
Our founder, Jerry Erwin, knows firsthand the toll that Alzheimer’s disease can take on a family member. His mother, Margaret, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and lived with the disease for over 7 years. This experience prompted Jerry to get involved and develop a solution for those affected by memory loss. In 1993, Jerry and his extended family built their first dedicated memory care community in Tumwater, WA. Taking that first step, Jerry started advancing the care, support, and compassion provided for those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, and it hasn’t stopped there. Today JEA is continuing to provide compassionate and loving care for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. It is our mission to serve as many families as possible by providing the highest quality care that they, and their loved ones deserve.
In 2019, JEA Senior Living communities raised over $224,000 in funding for the Alzheimer’s Association. This year we are rededicating our efforts to raising funds in support of Ending Alzheimer’s Disease. Although physical distancing guidelines may prevent us from gathering for Walks to End Alzheimer’s across the country, we are still committed to raising funds, increasing awareness, and finding a cure. Our community teams are leading the charge with their fundraising efforts and getting creative with virtual events in order to follow physical distancing and keep our residents safe.
This year in 2020 we rededicate ourselves to the cause: We walk as caregivers and advocates. We walk to support families that need our help. We walk to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. We walk to impact change and someday find a cure. JEA Senior Living serves, cares, and advocates for families and individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Join us in our goal to see a world without Alzheimer’s.
To support our efforts, please consider joining a JEA Walk Team in your local community, or create your own team with family and friends. To learn more about how you can help End Alzheimer’s visit the Alzheimer’s Association to get involved. For more information on the latest research, statistics, and data, check out the 2020 Facts and Figures report from the Alzheimer’s Association. Thank you in advance for your support in raising funds, driving awareness, and supporting those affected – Together we can end Alzheimer’s.