September is World Alzheimer's Month and nurse-author Marianne Sciucco encourages all readers to learn about this dreaded disease.
"This is a worldwide health crisis," says Sciucco, who wrote the novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer's love story, while working as a hospital case manager at an upstate New York hospital. "An estimated 44 million people worldwide currently live with dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form. This number is expected to rise to over 135 million by 2050."
The author urges everyone to learn the facts about Alzheimer's. "There is one new case of dementia worldwide every four seconds. It's not a normal part of aging. In fact, people in their thirties and forties are being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, although the risk of developing it does increase with age," she says.
She recommends websites such as the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Disease International and the National Institute on Aging for factual, up-to-date information.
Hitting the pavement is also a good way to learn more about this disease while getting some exercise. "Many local Alzheimer's organizations are sponsoring walks this fall to help increase awareness and raise funds. Get your family together and take a walk," Sciucco says. To find a walk in your area visit Walk to End Alzheimer's.
Sciucco also recommends checking out the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry to get the latest on Alzheimer's news and research. Opportunities to participate in research are also available through this site. "Research is our best hope in fighting this disease," she says.
Blue Hydrangeas is the sad but beautiful story of a retired pair of Cape Cod innkeepers struggling with the wife's Alzheimer's. Amazon readers give it 4.7 stars. Reviewers say: "It's rare for an author to engage the reader so adeptly and genuinely." "A little reminiscent of 'The Notebook,' but more heartwarming." "Wonderfully written! Warm. Tender. Thoughtful." It's available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. Readers can find it on Amazon, Audible, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Vook, the Create Space eStore, and other online retailers.