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State Farm® Gives a Voice to Caregivers and Others Affected by Memory Disorders

State Farm, Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation Launch Memory Wall Tour during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month

Bloomington, IL, November 3, 2005 -- No one wants to be forgettable, especially not to a loved one. But millions of Americans experience the pain of being unrecognizable to their loved ones every day. This pain often goes unnoticed since they are not patients…they are the spouses or children. And, they are caregivers. Family caregivers often suffer in isolation, silently watching their loved ones slip away, meanwhile dealing with the significant emotional and financial impact. State Farm® and The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation (LGMF) have banded together to shatter that silence by honoring caregivers and memory disorder sufferers with the State Farm Memory Wall Tour.

“Nearly one third of Americans have a close family member who has, or had, a need for in-home, assisted living or nursing care,1 and I'm one of them. I know firsthand the emotional and financial stresses involved with being a caregiver,” said Leeza Gibbons, TV and radio personality and founder of The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation. “This tour serves to educate caregivers, like myself, about the array of emotional and financial support available. By launching the State Farm Memory Wall Tour, we are building a wall to break down the walls of silence, shame and isolation around memory disorders such as Alzheimer's.”

Today, 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's alone, and by year 2050, that number is expected to soar to between 11.3 and 16 million.2 These patients often need 24-hour care and the current cost of nursing home care averages approximately $70,000 per year.3 It's a cost that many families bear or they provide the necessary care as long as possible.

To recognize National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month in November, State Farm and LGMF are kicking off the 12-city Memory Wall Tour. The tour honors caregivers like Leeza and memory disorder sufferers like Leeza's grandmother, who died from Alzheimer's, and her mother, who currently has the disease. As the tour travels across the country, the wall will be filled with handwritten, personal tributes to caregivers and their loved ones affected by memory disorders.

Local Residents Pay Tribute to Caregivers and Others Affected by Memory Disorders
In each tour city, State Farm and LGMF host events at neighborhood shopping malls where residents can personalize tributes to be permanently showcased on the Memory Wall. Residents also can test their memory skills and learn ways to sharpen their memories by playing an interactive memory game. Most importantly, the tour offers practical information on emotional and financial support for caregivers and those with memory disorders.

The State Farm Memory Wall Tour concludes in November 2006, with the unveiling and public display of the complete Wall in Washington, D.C.

The State Farm Memory Wall travels to the following cities:

New York, November 5 -- 19, 2005
Westbury, N.Y., November 21 -- 27, 2005
Washington, D.C., November 30 -- December 14, 2005
Los Angeles, January 7 -- 22, 2006
San Francisco, January 25 -- February 5, 2006
Portland, Ore., February 9 -- 19, 2006
Seattle, Wash., February 22 -- March 5, 2006
Chicago, July 22 -- August 5, 2006
St. Louis, August 8 -- 20, 2006
Dallas, August 24 -- September 3, 2006
Atlanta, September 7 -- 17, 2006
Miami, September 21 -- October 1, 2006

Planning Today Means Protection For Tomorrow

“We see the emotional and financial devastation of long-term care every day. It can force families to make difficult choices in their loved ones' care…or their children's education or their retirement plans,” said Susan Waring, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of State Farm Life and Health Insurance. “We hope the Memory Wall Tour helps families recognize the importance of preparing for the possibility of a long-term illness. Thoughtful planning today helps caregivers protect their families from financial challenges should long-term care be required in the future.”

Waring encourages families to discuss the possibility of long-term care and understand the options available, such as in-home or facility care, part-time or full-time care, and care by a professional or family member. Once families have these difficult discussions, they can prepare financially.

About State Farm®

State Farm insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 76,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada. State Farm also offers financial services products. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 18 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies.

About The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation

The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation is the manifestation of Leeza's vision for a better standard of care for patients and caregivers affected by Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders. The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, through its signature program Leeza's Place, seeks to educate, empower and energize caregivers and the recently diagnosed. Leeza's Place integrates educational approaches, connective social activities, emotional support and intergenerational programming, and is dedicated to supporting the day-to-day needs of caregivers. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

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