Recently I was reminded that Alzheimer’s disease affects more women than men. In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2/3 individuals who have the disease are women. Women over the age of 65 are also about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease then breast cancer. Wow. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in women is higher than breast cancer? Why aren’t we talking about this?
Wait a minute. If more women have Alzheimer’s disease than men, AND women provide more care for our aging relatives, who is going to care for aging women? I’m not a statistician but this does not seem like statistics are in a woman’s favor. It seems that there is a big gap in care on its way as the baby boomers age and women will fall through the hole.
So what can we do? I suggest that individuals, non-profit and community groups and businesses hit the roads planning walks, and runs, campaigns and fundraisers in the same way that women have spearheaded fundraising and awareness for breast cancer. Surely increased awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s disease can help?
I also appeal to women to begin discussions within their families about aging and women. In general, women are the talkers, planners, organizers of the home so why not add this to the agenda? (No offense to my male readers – many of you share and/or run the household too).
If we know the statistics now, let’s have the discussions now.