Every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s. More than 5 million Americans are currently living with the disease - including more than 170,000 Michigan seniors. September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to raise awareness for a disease that affects so many people every year. Alzheimer’s disease is defined by the Alzheimer’s association as, “A type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.” It is the most common type of dementia as it makes up three to four out of five dementia cases. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a person who has not been somehow impacted by Alzheimer’s,” said Amy Frenzel, vice president of Service Operations for Blue Cross. “The rate at which this disease is growing is alarming. It is the only cause of death among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.” Blue Cross is a supporter of several Walks to End Alzheimer's across the state. “Our sponsorship and participation in the walks helps raise money and awareness for a disease that impacts one in nine Americans 65 years and older. We also hope to raise awareness directly at BCBSM by offering a workshop on Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Chris Maier, vice president of Claims, Enrollment and Program Management at Blue Cross. Frenzel and Maier also serve on the board of directors for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter and Great Lakes Chapter, respectively. Warning signs of the disease vary, but often include uncertainty of time or place, decreased or minimized judgment, withdrawal from social activities and/or changes in personality. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms chronically, reach out to your physician for an examination or evaluation. You can show your commitment to finding a cure by signing up for your local Walk to End Alzheimer's today. Photo credit: UMaine Student Life
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