APPLETON (NBC 26) — On World Alzheimer's Day, it is reported that millions of Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. Research shows Hispanics and Latinos are more likely to develop the disease compared to some other groups.
It's been difficult for Mayra Pasayes of Appleton to see her mom decline due to Alzheimer’s.
"16 years ago I started talking to her on the phone and started seeing the changes,” said Pasayes.
It's a day-to-day battle and something her family had to quickly adjust to.
"She would forget how to eat, she'd forget she had food in her mouth, so we ended up removing the teeth,” Pasayes said.
When Mayra sees her mom, she does things to keep her mind busy.
"I try to get her out. I go home, get her wheelchair out and we go to places,” says Pasayes.
Her mom is just one of thousands of Hispanics living with Alzheimer's and according to the Alzheimer's Association, Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than Caucasians to develop dementia.
"Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, low education attainment play a role in development of this disease and as we know there is a high instance of diabetes, hypertension and obesity among the Latino population,” said Virginia Zerpa, Alzheimer's Wisconsin Chapter Community Outreach Coordinator.
Pasayes mom is 80 years old and doing the best she can.
As time goes on, Pasayes continues to hold onto hope that perhaps someday there will be a miracle.
"She was so coordinated, so classy, and seeing where she's at now it’s really hard,” Pasayes said. “I love her to pieces and I want any sign that it can be possible knowing that she understands what I said or she remembers what I said.”
Research on Alzheimer's continues every day, with most of the research being funded through the Alzheimer's Association.
Fundraising for the Alzheimer's Association is done through the Walk to End Alzheimer's, taking place on October 1st at Fox Cities Stadium.
To sign up for the event and join the fight in finding a cure to Alzheimer's, click here.