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It’s time for Floridians to Become ALZ STARS

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Author name: Casey Nobile, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Lee Health


Approximately 1 in every 37 Floridians statewide lives with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disease with no known cure.

By knowing the warning signs, we can help loved ones seek medical care and receive an early diagnosis. 

To increase awareness and early detection of Alzheimer’s, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Alzheimer’s Association Florida Chapters have co-developed the ALZ STARS program.

Supported by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the free program teaches people who become ALZ STARS how to identify the early warning signs of the disease, take steps to receive an accurate diagnosis, understand simple communication tips when engaging with someone who has Alzheimer’s, and how to access local resources.

The program is free, short, and available to anyone online at

Why becoming an ALZ STAR MATTERS

A diagnosis in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can make a big difference. It means having access to treatment options that can reduce cognitive and functional decline and help lessen symptoms.

Early medical care provides a chance to prioritize health and preserve cognitive function for as long as possible.

Most importantly, an early diagnosis allows more time to plan for the future and offers the person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s time to express their wishes about legal, financial and end-of-life decisions.

Early diagnosis can reduce care costs, too, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Routine screening that identifies people with early signs of dementia would save approximately $8 trillion in health and long-term care costs by eliminating money spent on unnecessary tests and treatments.

It’s time all Floridians became ALZ STARS. Now’s the time. By 2025, it’s estimated the number of Floridians affected by Alzheimer’s will increase by 24 percent. Florida has the second-highest number of people diagnosed with the disease in the nation, with more than 580,000 diagnosed residents.

By 2025, that number is projected to reach 720,000, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Know the signs. Know the resources. Make a difference. Register today at for the ALZ STARS program in your area.

Casey Nobile is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Lee Health. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Florida Gulf Coast University. She offers counseling across a wide range of concerns, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, relational issues, career challenges, and coping with chronic medical conditions.

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