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Alzheimer's numbers on the rise in Illinois

Posted: March 31, 2015 at 5:47 pm

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - There were nearly 3,000 deaths from Alzheimer's disease in 2012, making it the sixth leading cause of death in Illinois, according to numbers from the Alzheimer's Association.

There are 210,000 Illinoisans living with Alzheimer's and it's set to increase to 230,000 by 2020.

Alzheimer's is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, slowed or cured. Dr. Austin Hake with Quincy Medical Group feels the numbers are going up because doctors are getting better at detecting it, and more of the baby boomer generation is getting older.

Hake says though you can't change family history, it doesn't mean you will get the disease.

"There are some things that we can work on that we know are good for the brain," Hake said. "We know that a healthy diet and regular physical activity is a way to help prevent dementia down the road. So I think as long as you think about what's good for the heart, what's good for the brain, I think that's a good step."

Hake says to pay attention to those minor details. He says if someone was always known to be on time for appointments, but now they are forgetting them, or was able to balance their checkbook and now they can't, that may be a sign of early onset dementia.

"They're just as confused as the loved one," Kretzer said. "You know they have no idea what is going on. So they're trying to educate themselves and that's what we love to do. Making sure they are prepared for what's going to happen."

90 percent of programs offered through the Alzheimer's Association are free to the public.

To learn more about programs available, you can call the Alzheimer's Association's 24/7 hotline at 1-800-272-3900, or you can call the Quincy branch directly at 217-228-1111.

Excerpt from:
Alzheimer's numbers on the rise in Illinois

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