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WHEREAS, the health and safety of all Virginians is important to the happiness, prosperity, and well-being of our Commonwealth’s families, communities, and economy; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease that slowly deteriorates brain cells, affecting one’s reasoning skills and abilities to perform simple tasks, ultimately leading to memory loss; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s cases in Virginia are expected to increase 35.7 percent from 140,000 in 2018 to about 190,000 in 2025; and
WHEREAS, 462,000 caregivers provided over 526,000,000 hours of unpaid care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease, which currently has no cure, is the sixth leading cause of death in adults age eighteen or older in the United States; and
WHEREAS, with no currently definitive interventions to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, essential public health services of early detection, risk reduction, and surveillance are necessary to protect and improve the health of our citizens, as called for in The Healthy Brain Initiative: The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and
WHEREAS, during the month of June, citizens across the Commonwealth take part in The Longest Day – thelongestday.alz.org/ – to raise awareness and support research and care for Alzheimer’s patients; and
WHEREAS, further research of Alzheimer’s Disease is critical as it is the only cause of death among the top ten causes in the United States that currently cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed; and
WHEREAS, nearly 50 percent of individuals with increased memory problems reported they had not discussed their symptoms with a health care provider, yet early and documented diagnosis when coupled with access to care planning services leads to better outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as their caregivers; and
WHEREAS, caregivers and family members are crucial in maintaining a healthy quality of life for those battling Alzheimer’s disease; and
WHEREAS, changing the trajectory of Alzheimer's disease requires public health tools and techniques that helped alter the course of heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS in our Commonwealth: encouraging healthy behaviors to reduce the risk of co-occurring conditions, decreasing the number of people with undiagnosed dementia, improving medical management of dementia and co-morbidities, and assisting family caregivers with getting support to help them sustain their vital role; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that Alzheimer’s patients receive early diagnoses and have access to quality, affordable care, and that further research of this disease continues;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 2018 as ALZHEIMER'S AND BRAIN AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.