In Washington State, there are currently 150,000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. In the rest of the Nation, more than 5 million have Alzheimer’s disease. That number will jump to 16 million by the year 2050. Most of us envision an elderly person with some sort of dementia. We might even expect it to occur in those 85 or older. Listen to me Baby Boomers – young and not-so-young – the number of people diagnosed before the age of 65 – known as early-onset Alzheimer’s – is more common than you think. In the United States alone, those with early-onset disease currently number 200,000.
That number decreased by one when my exceptional sister-in-law died on July 4, 2012 at the age of 69. Just about the time that Baby Boomers should be anxiously making their final retirement plans – such as was the case with my brother and his wife – they are instead dealing with the challenges of managing a disease for which there is no cure.
Sixty-four year old Lon Cole, a resident of Puyallup, Washington, is one of the 200,000. The local NBC affiliate, King5 in Seattle, Washington, ran a touching story about this gentleman. I hope you will take the time to look at this news article: Alive and Thankful: Living with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Those who have managed, or are currently managing, the care of a loved one with early-onset disease, will be touched by this family’s story.