While we all have a general understanding of what Alzheimer's disease is, there are still many unknowns about the condition — that's where National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month comes in.

Each November raises awareness about the lesser-known facets of the disease, which affects 76,000 Coloradans. One of the facets is the difference between aging and Alzheimer's.

"Alzheimer's is not a part of normal aging. For a lot of people, they still think in terms of senility," said Jim Herlihy, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at the Alzheimer's Association's Colorado Chapter, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "For the 76,000 Coloradans and 6.2 million Americans [with Alzheimer's], this is a disease that affects their ability to live their life. For them, this is the start of a progression that is 100% fatal."

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Research shows that vaccinations may also have an impact on cognitive health. While there is not yet a proven connection between vaccines and Alzheimer's prevention, they can ward off cognitive effects from COVID-19 and the flu — something that only benefits those suffering from the disease.

November further serves to raise awareness about the importance of caregivers, who are, unfortunately, often overlooked.

"These folks, on average, are giving 26 hours of their time per week to care for loved ones," said Herlihy. "Show them support and help them realize that their contributions are valued and important in the lives of the people they're caring for."

Learn more about National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month by listening to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Jim Herlihy below.

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