The number of people affected by Alzheimer's and other dementia is growing in Utah. Right now there are more than 33,000 people living with Alzheimer's, that number has grown 190 percent since the year 2000. Alzheimer's is the fourth leading cause of death in Utah. Because of the baby boomer generation, that number is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent in the next five years.
There's no way to cure Alzheimer's Disease currently, but recently scientists have found that we can reduce our risk for cognitive decline that could lead to Alzheimer's. A few things that we can do right now to reduce our risk are: eat a heart-healthy diet, get regular exercise, get 6-8 hours a quality sleep, stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption and control our blood pressure -- keep the top number below 120.
Since there is not a cure yet, the Walk to End Alzheimer's is a wonderful event for anyone who is concerned about the disease, or who is currently living with Alzheimer's or a family caregiver to connect with other people who are also affected in some way. The walks provide an opportunity to learn more about the disease and connect with resources available in the community.
There are still walks left in Utah:
September 21 - Logan
September 21 - South Jordan
September 28 - Salt Lake City
September 28 - Orem
October 12 - Cedar City
If you'd like to sign up, go to alz.org/walk, then click on the picture of the State of Utah and select the event that's nearest to you. You can also contact the 24/7 Helpline and sign up. That number is 800-272-3900.