What We Learned At Maria Shriver’s Health Summit

Maria Shriver’s Health Summit November 1 date aligned with the kick-off of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month, which was designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s at the time. Now, that number has risen to 5.4 million and a new person being diagnosed every 66 seconds. Two-thirds of those brains belong to women.

Last week we were honored to attend a first-of-its-kind event, “Maria Shriver’s Health Summit: It Starts With the Brain,” at Hearst Tower in New York City. Focusing on women’s brain health and Alzheimer’s disease, the summit was co-organized by award-winning journalist and activist Maria Shriver, founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Only 22 percent of all Americans (27 percent of women) know that Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women.
  • 71 percent of American women—both millennial and non-millennial women—believe you don’t begin to develop any symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease until you are 60 or older.
  • 44 percent of all Americans, and 42 percent of women, say they aren’t that worried, or aren’t worried at all, about getting Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of these individuals incorrectly believe that they don’t have to worry because the disease doesn’t run in their family, despite research that proves your genes are not your destiny.
  • 66 percent of Americans (64 percent of women) want a family member to be their primary caregiver. Yet only 1 in 4 seniors have had the conversation with their children, and only 1 in 3 millennials have talked with their parents about the issue.
  • Women make up two-thirds of the caregivers in America. Yet, 54 percent of American women report that they are ill-prepared to take care of their parents. 50 percent of millennial women report feeling that way.
  • 54 percent of Americans (53 percent of women) say long-term care will cost $25,000 or less per year, even though it’s been shown to cost nearly double that amount. Nearly half of millennials believe it will cost less than $18,000 per year.

We came home to California feeling more impassioned and dedicated to this cause than ever before. Alzheimer’s Disease may be here for now, but we’re going continue to do everything we can to make this a temporal challenge. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your continued support. Together we can bring an end to Alzheimer’s.

Lifetime is the official media partner of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, the organization founded by Maria Shriver to answer the question of why Alzheimer’s discriminates against women.

Source: The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement

Maria Shriver’s Health Summit