"Alzheimer's disease is the 6th-leading cause of death in the United States, and 1 in 3 older adults over age 85 suffer from Alzheimer's," Governor Snyder said. "In Michigan, 170,000 people aged 65 or older have the disease, and we have over 505,000 dedicated caregivers in our state."
The Alzheimer's Association reports that Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Alzheimer's is fatal and is the only cause of death in the top ten that has no cure, no treatment and no way to slow its progression.
"Alzheimer's is a tragic disease that affects not only patients, but also their families, friends and communities. And as Michigan's population continues to age, Alzheimer's will have an even greater impact on our state," Snyder said. "That's why we're ‘going purple' to help bring increased awareness and support for our fellow Michiganders who are struggling with this disease."
Participating State of Michigan department web pages, social media channels, the official Michigan.gov portal and Governor Snyder's website will display a purple "M" for the cause. In addition, facts about Alzheimer's disease and links to resources for those needing help will be shared via social media throughout the month.
In a proclamation, Governor Snyder called on Michigan residents to join in tweeting, posting and sharing their stories and thoughts on Alzheimer's awareness using the #puremipurple hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
On June 21, the Alzheimer's Association is holding "The Longest Day" -- a sunrise-to-sunset team event honoring the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer's disease. Teams complete approximately 16 hours of activity to raise awareness and funds for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
Those interested in participating in the Longest Day or seeking more information about Alzheimer's disease and the free support and services the Alzheimer's Association offers are encouraged to call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit http://www.alz.org to find out how to contact the Chapter that serves their community. The Alzheimer's Association's Michigan Great Lakes Chapter and the Greater Michigan Chapter provide services throughout the state.