The state of Illinois finally got something right. It issued a license plate to help promote awareness of the urgent need for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Illinois is the first and only state to have a specialty license plate supporting the Alzheimer’s Association and it’s now available to Illinois residents.
The exposure of the plates on the road offer a reminder to support efforts to fund research and assistance to those with the disease and their caregivers. The fee also extends a $23 donation to the local Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
More than 44 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia. More than 5.7 million of those people are in the United States. (220,000 are Illinois residents.)
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation due to the intense care that must be provided and the extended length of time that care is required. Dementia care will cost our nation $277 billion this year, and that is in addition to the 16.1 million Americans who provide unpaid care. Few families can afford the care and therefore ultimately rely on government funds and facilities to do so.
In addition to the expense, people with the disease and their families suffer greatly. We witness the slow, deliberate, and relentless debilitation of our loved one. In the last years of our loved one’s life, they rely on assistance for every need.
The END ALZ Plates are available online and at local DMV offices. There is an additional annual fee of $25 for this plate, of which $23 will go to the local Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. You also may contact the Alzheimer’s Association directly to make a donation.
(For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, see my Facebook page Navigating Alzheimer’s and my book, Navigating Alzheimer’s. 12 Truths about Caring for Your Loved One, available from Amazon.com, ACTA Publications, and my website. If you’ve read this book, please, please write a review.)