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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Avalon Park

June is upon us, and with it, we celebrate many wonderful things in our community. This month, however, I want to bring attention to something very close to my heart and vital to our community: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that affects more than 55 million people worldwide and over 6 million people in the United States. Here in Avalon Park, the impact is felt deeply, especially with our cherished Encore Avalon Park Assisted Living and Memory Care Community. When we built Encore, the need for memory care floors was evident, and we answered that call. Today, those floors are full, a testament to the prevalence of this condition and the importance of our efforts.

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, studies suggest that a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the risk. Eating well, staying physically active, and engaging in mental exercises are all beneficial. On a personal note, my exercise routine is an essential part of my life. I find it not only keeps me physically fit but also mentally sharp and emotionally balanced. Whether it’s a session on the rowing machine, a run, or a bike ride, I believe in the power of staying active—not just for Alzheimer’s prevention, but for overall well-being.

Living in Avalon Park, we are fortunate to have numerous opportunities to embrace a healthy lifestyle. The East Orlando Gym, 16 miles of beautiful bike trails, numerous parks, new outdoor exercise equipment, and various run and cycling clubs offer us plenty of ways to stay active and engaged. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these resources, not just for their own health, but to set a positive example for our youth and our community.

Volunteering is another powerful way to make a difference. At Encore, volunteers are welcome who want to support and learn more about those living with dementia. Your time and care can bring joy and comfort to many, and the experience can be incredibly rewarding.

The statistics surrounding Alzheimer’s are sobering. In 2024, the disease and other dementias are expected to cost the nation $360 billion, not including unpaid caregiving. Medicare and Medicaid will cover $231 billion of this, with out-of-pocket spending projected at $87 billion. By 2050, total payments for health care, long-term care, and hospice care for people living with dementia are expected to nearly reach $1 trillion.

The total lifetime cost of care for a person living with dementia is estimated at $392,874. Those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have twice as many hospital stays per year as other older adults. They are also more likely to have chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. Additionally, older adults with Alzheimer’s or other dementias experience more skilled nursing facility stays and home health care visits than their peers.

Here in Avalon Park, we are a community that supports one another, and this Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, I urge you to be part of this support system. Whether through adopting a healthier lifestyle, volunteering, or simply spreading awareness, every action counts.

Together, let’s continue to make Avalon Park a place where health, compassion, and community thrive.

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