Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer's is the 11th leading cause of death for adults age 65 and older. It's estimated that 4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and, unless a cure or significant treatment is found, it's predicted that as many as 14 million will have the disease by 2050. Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging, it is a progressive and fatal brain disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, it is the most common form of dementia, destroying brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. While there is no cure, there are treatments to mitigate symptoms.
American Diabetes Month - One in four Americans either currently has diabetes or are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. There are 21 million U.S. children and adults living with diabetes, and another 54 million people are at-risk. In some populations - such as Latinos and Native Americans, the news is even worse, with the rate rising to as much as one out of every two people. It's an illness that sas reached epidemic proportion, sometimes called America's quiet crisis, it is exacerbated by weight gain and lack of exercise. It is progressive and often fatal disease characterized by many serious medical complications, and as such, a prime contributor to the nation's rising health costs. Yet at least in terms of Type 2 Diabetes, behavior change such as a decrease in weight and an increase in exercise may help to prevent or delay the onset. This is an area where work-based wellness programs can have a positive impact. The American Diabetes Association offers tools, activities and resources for promoting Diabetes awareness and healthy lifestyles at your workplace.
And hand-in-hand with this focus on diabetes, November is also Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Family Caregiver Month - It is estimated that 50 million family caregivers across the country currently provide more than $306 billion in "free" caregiving services. We've previously discussed how caregivers are at heightened risk for financial, physical, and emotional problems. And according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the cost of caregivers in the workplace may be as high as $33.6 billion a year in missed days, early departures, and on-the-job distractions. The National Family Caregivers Association offers a list of caregiving resources as well as a community message board.
Great American Smokeout - While the big day is November 15, it's not too early to start publicizing and gearing up - smokers often benefit by setting a target "quit day" in advance. Several sites provide resources and activities, including The American Cancer Society offers alternatives: Quit For You and another site with resources for smokers. They also offer a worksite toolkit. The Centers for Disease Control offers a few good posters along with other materials.
Epilepsy Awareness Month - According to the Centers for Disease Control epilepsy currently affects approximately 3 million persons in the United States and is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation, which is a great resource for information, resources and networking, offers this insight: Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in children and the third most common in adults after Alzheimer's and stroke. Despite modern therapy, about one million people continue to experience seizures or significant side effects from treatment. An Epilepsy Foundation report published in 2000 revealed that epilepsy costs the nation more than $16.6 billion a year in health care and unemployment. One in 10 adults will have a seizure sometime during their life. One percent of the population -- more than 3 million Americans -- are treated for epilepsy, most commonly with antiseizure medications.