We can all help in the fight against Alzheimer’s, in small ways and large ones. Learn about some tools for raising awareness during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this November.
With over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and those numbers expected to triple by 2050, it’s more important than ever to get informed on the prevention and treatment of dementia — and promote greater understanding of the disease and its symptoms so that it can be detected and treated early.
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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, which occurs every November, was established to honor the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s, through advocacy for a cure, awareness and education.
In addition to raising awareness and supporting those with the disease, Alzheimer’s Awareness Month also reminds us of the importance of caregivers, who are there to help their loved ones as they tread the difficult path ahead. A month of special attention helps us all focus on achieving those goals, and it helps to de-stigmatize Alzheimer’s disease throughout our society.
Every one of us is capable of doing something to contribute to Alzheimer’s awareness. There are large ways to help and small ways, but each one strikes another blow in the fight against the disease.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 things people can do to help make an impact and raise awareness, not just during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, but all 365 days of the year. Learn more:
Communities all across the nation participate in the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which aims “to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.” The collective show of support is a visible demonstration of solidarity in the fight against Alzheimer’s. With assistance from the Alzheimer’s Association, participants endeavor to meet an individual fundraising goal, and the proceeds directly help the association in its mission to provide education and support to families of those with Alzheimer’s, advocate for their needs, and help advance research studies into treatment and prevention. Visit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s page to search for a walk near you. They usually take place in the fall, so it’s a great lead-up to Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in November.
The progression of Alzheimer’s is happening more quickly than almost any other illness in the U.S., but there is still no cure. You can help raise awareness of the seriousness of this epidemic by sharing our infographic slideshow that illustrates the frighteningly rapid increase predicted for the disease — an increase that will disproportionately affect some states more than others over the next few decades.
We want to know why ending Alzheimer’s is important to you — as an individual, as a family and as a caregiver. If you’ve been affected by the disease — or even if you haven’t been directly affected — we are reaching out and asking you to share “I want to #EndAlz because…” It’s a chance to speak out and share your commitment to ending Alzheimer’s, and we’ll share our submitted photos with you so that we can all see the myriad of reasons why it’s so important to #EndAlz.
There are truly so many ways to donate, and there are numerous opportunities listed on the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America web pages, if you need a place to start. You can simply donate money online and it will go towards the fight to end Alzheimer’s, but there are other ways to donate, too — you can donate stock or an old car and receive some tax benefits to boot; you can donate to the cause of a participant in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s; you can plan a bequest in your will; and much more.
Our friends at Alzheimers.net have a wonderful infographic that you can share on your favorite social media site — simply use the one-click buttons at the top of the page. The infographic includes effective ways you can join the fight against the disease, from joining clinical trials to writing your congressperson. We hope you’ll find it a great tool for raising awareness. And, after learning and sharing, it’s just one more step to start doing.
“Have fun, do good, end Alzheimer’s” — that’s what the Alzheimer’s Association wants people to do when they express an interest in holding a fundraising event. It can be as simple as a movie night where you pass around a donation envelope, or as elaborate as a benefit party to commemorate the life of a loved one. No matter how you choose to raise awareness among your own social circle, the Alzheimer’s Association has a wide range of ideas and resources to get you started.
Alzheimer’s has an enormous cost in the workplace as well as for individuals and families. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “44% of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s are employed full or part time.” The workplace is also a terrific forum for getting the word out about ending the disease. Small donations from many employees can add up to a significant contribution to ending Alzheimer’s, and the Association has fun ideas for easy workplace activities, such as “Go casual for a cause” Friday.
This National Memory Screening event aims to provide free memory tests with the goal of early detection and treatment for those showing signs of cognitive impairment. You can be a source of encouragement and strength for friends, family and loved ones simply by participating, but if you would like to do more to raise awareness, host or visit a site near you. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides the materials, and you locate a willing health care professional to administer the testing. Visit their website for more information.
Most charitable organizations, large and small, rely on the help of dedicated volunteers to spread the word, support the cause, and help keep things running. The Alzheimer’s Association has chapters throughout the U.S., and the Alzheimer Society of Canada has local chapters in communities all across Canada. Both organizations can always use help with events, office work, phone calls, and more.
So much can be done to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and directly touch others’ hearts simply be speaking out. The Alzheimer Society of Canada website hosts a Creative Space where individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s or another dementia can contribute artwork or written work talking about their experiences. Through the Alzheimer’s Association, you can sign up for speaker’s bureau opportunities all across the U.S., or create a web page as a moving tribute to a loved one.
Whether it’s sharing a personal story of your own or encouraging others to join the fight, there are so many things you can do to help end Alzheimer’s disease. We aren’t helpless, especially when we join together.
What are you planning to do to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease this month? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below.