ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – In order to help raise awareness about ways to potentially delay Alzheimer’s onset or help residents get an early diagnosis, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is using this Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to spread the word about the disease and ensure that residents have the information they need to combat it.
“As residents get older, it is critical that they are taking basic steps to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and other diseases,” said Manley. “Far too many Illinoisians suffer from this terrible disease, so this Alzheimer’s Awareness Month I highly encourage residents to take a few moments to learn about the disease and what they can do to prevent it.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, over 250,000 Illinoisians are projected to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia diseases by 2025. In response, Manley is encouraging residents to take actions that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease from occurring. Staying physically and mentally active, keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in check, and not smoking are ways to help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Regularly doing a memory check with a physician during annual wellness checks is also an important tool to combat Alzheimer’s, giving medical professionals a greater ability to detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s and other memory-impairing diseases early. For more information, please visit cms.illinois.gov/benefits/stateemployee/bewell/awarenessmatters/alzheimers-awareness-november21.html
Since entering the General Assembly, Manley has worked to support residents living with Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, she passed legislation adding guidelines for continuing training on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias for Emergency Medical Services (EMT) personnel for license renewals. In order to ensure that there is funding available for Alzheimer’s care and support services, Manley also passed a bill extending the Alzheimer’s scratch-off ticket to January 1, 2025. In recognition of her longtime commitment to supporting those living with Alzheimer’s, Manley was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in 2015.
Losing your memory is a frightening prospect, and one that is worth taking actions to prevent,” said Manley. “As the senior population continues to grow, we must ensure that they have the information they need to protect themselves from this disease and other related diseases so that our older adults can age peacefully and with the dignity they deserve.”