Healthy Beginnings

Nonprofit Spotlight: Alzheimer’s Association of Northern Nevada

  • November 2, 2017
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  • By Alzheimer’s Association of Northern Nevada
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  • Categories: Healthy Mind, Wellness

Participants young and old took part in the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 23 in Sparks.

It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. There are no survivors, and there is no way to prevent it, treat it, cure it or even slow it down. It is Alzheimer’s disease, and 5.4 million Americans are currently living with it.

Many think of Alzheimer’s as memory loss associated with old age. But Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. Scientists think we can prevent it, and according to Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, “We are not, at the moment, limited by ideas. We are not limited by scientific opportunities. We are not limited by talent. We are, unfortunately, limited by resources to be able to move this enterprise forward at the pace that it could take.” In other words, we need more funding for Alzheimer’s research.

That’s where the Alzheimer’s Association comes in. As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the Association is committed to finding a cure for a disease that threatens to bankrupt families, businesses, and our health care system. In 2016, Alzheimer’s and related dementias cost the nation $236 billion, the majority of which was borne by Medicare and Medicaid.

The Sigma Kappa, Kappa XI chapter, was among many teams who participated in the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The personal financial toll on families is dramatic as well. Nevadans contributed almost $2 billion in unpaid care in 2016 for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Behind that figure are people who reduced their work hours, or quit their job altogether, in addition to people who cut back on their own expenses — even groceries or their personal medical care.

Help is available

The Alzheimer’s Association mission includes care and support for those who are impacted by the disease. The office in Reno offers a broad range of programs and services, including a 24/7 helpline, a comprehensive informational website at, support groups, care consultations, family and professional education, and early stage services.

Why community involvement is critical

One out of nine people over the age of 65 will get Alzheimer’s disease. Two-thirds of those people are unaware that Medicare will not cover the formidable costs of nursing care. Translation? Even people who think they are on track with their retirement savings may be in for a big surprise.

This is an issue of concern to everyone — taxpayers, employees, employers and retirees. Employers are in a unique position to educate the workforce about the need for a cure — so that our families and our nation can avoid the tsunami of dementia costs that will arrive as the baby boomers start to age.

Companies called to action

The Alzheimer’s Association partners with the community and employers in a variety of ways, including: in-house education, corporate sponsorship opportunities, and highly visible fundraising events, to name a few.

Visit to learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern Nevada.

Know the 10 signs

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life: Memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information; asking for the same information over and over; or increasingly relying on memory aids.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems: Decreased ability to develop and follow a plan; trouble following a familiar recipe; or keeping track of monthly bills.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure: Trouble driving to a familiar location, or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
  4. Confusion with time or place: Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time; forgetting where they are or how they got there.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: Difficulty reading or judging distance, which may cause problems with driving.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or in writing: Trouble following or joining a conversation; stopping in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue; problems finding the right word or calling things by the wrong name.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: Putting things in unusual places; losing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them again; accusing others of stealing.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment: Using poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers; paying less attention to grooming.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities: Removing themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports; avoiding social engagement because of these changes.
  10. Changes in mood or personality: Personality changes; becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.