A poll released today by the Alzheimer’s Association reveals that many Iowans are very concerned about Alzheimer’s disease. More than seven out of ten people in Iowa say they have known someone with Alzheimer’s and more than four out of ten have been personally affected by the disease. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s nationwide and nearly 70,000 people age 65 and older in Iowa have the disease.
“The human toll of Alzheimer’s is devastating. For one out of eight older Americans who will develop this disease, it will mean the loss of everything they have ever known,” said Kelly Hauer, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association East Central Iowa Chapter. “Alzheimer’s is a wife not remembering her husband’s name; a daughter dressing and bathing a mother who once took care of her; and a grandson seeing his grandfather suffer. This disease is the only disease where you lose a loved one twice – first to the ravages of the disease which can last for several years or longer – and then ultimately to death.”
Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the top ten causes of death in the United States without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. In a new statewide poll nearly 60 percent of Iowa residents say not knowing the root cause of Alzheimer’s is the biggest barrier to finding a cure. The poll also showed a majority support increased government funding for Alzheimer’s research across party lines. In fact, after cancer research, Alzheimer’s research is what Iowans want funded the most. Support for increased levels of federal funding for Alzheimer’s research is highest among Iowans age 60 or older, those advancing into years of increased risk for developing the disease themselves.
“Time is the one thing we don’t have to end this rapidly escalating epidemic,” continued Hauer. “This poll demonstrates that Iowans understand this and will support elected officials who act decisively to address this issue.”
Engaged Advocates Discussing Alzheimer’s Impact:
Throughout Iowa, Alzheimer’s advocates are mobilized and poised to educate candidates about Alzheimer’s and the tumultuous influence it has on so many families’ lives. Nationally, more than 15 million family members and friends are caring for people with Alzheimer’s or another related dementia, including nearly 135,000 people in Iowans.
“Alzheimer’s can affect an entire family for years and years. Family members can lose their financial savings, their jobs and even their homes as they struggle to cope with caring for their loved one with the disease,”
said Hauer. “Every 68 seconds an American develops this disease and Iowans, especially aging baby boomers, want more attention from their elected officials on this growing public health crisis.”
Alzheimer’s advocates are attending town hall meetings and political rallies throughout the state outlining the importance of meaningful action on Alzheimer’s and urging the nation’s leaders to make the fight against Alzheimer’s disease a priority.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit www.alz.org.
The Alzheimer’s Association Survey
The Alzheimer’s Association poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, was created to measure how Alzheimer’s disease and its related issues influence Iowans. The statewide survey was conducted via telephone on September 11-13, 2012 with a random sample of 400 Iowans.