Alzheimer’s And Brain Awareness Month
There are 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that deteriorates memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out daily tasks overtime. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is the general term for impaired memory, decision making, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently 5.8 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the United States today. By 2060, it’s estimated that 14 million people will have Alzheimer’s—with minority populations being impacted the most.
The high prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in minority populations can be attributed to:
- Higher rates of heart disease and diabetes
- Lower education rates
- Higher poverty rates
- Greater exposure to adversity and discrimination in the healthcare space
It’s important that everyone, especially those at high risk of Alzheimer’s, are aware of the symptoms and know what to look out for.
Understanding the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
It’s common for your brain to change as you age.
Even if you don’t have Alzheimer’s Disease, as you age you may notice slowed thinking and occasional forgetting of things you’d normally remember.
When someone has Alzheimer’s Disease, you’ll notice more serious memory loss and changes in the way their mind works. Alzheimer’s Disease tends to get worse with age, with most people being diagnosed at age 65 or older. Those impacted by Alzheimer’s before the age of 65 are said to have early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.
Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease include:
- Mood/behavior changes
- Deeper confusion about certain events, times, and places
- Paranoia surrounding family, friends, caregivers
- Difficulty speaking, walking, and swallowing
It’s hard for someone exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s to recognize something is wrong. But caregivers, family, and friends may be able to spot the warning signs early-on.
If you notice a loved one exhibiting symptoms of dementia, it’s important to seek appropriate medical treatment (Connect2Heal can put you into contact with a physician if you feel a loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia).
Treatments and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease
Currently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. However, there is significant progress being made in testing new medicines.
Many of these medicines have been approved by the FDA to help manage the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Some have even been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other dementia related illnesses.
If you’re a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s, the experience can get overwhelming. Try finding a dementia caregiver support group. When you’re part of a dementia caregiver support group, be sure to:
If you’re caring for a family member with dementia, we encourage you to ask questions. You will find that there are many people out there willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Try joining a community of caregivers in person or virtually, through websites such as Facebook.
Share your experiences with others
The goal of caregiver support groups is to provide guidance and education to those who care for a loved one with dementia. Don’t be afraid to share your story to other group members. There is comfort in knowing you’re not alone.
Read about other members’ experiences
You’ll find that a caregiving community offers a wealth of knowledge and support. Members share personal stories and ask questions about topics such as how to cope with stress, what to do when a loved one becomes aggressive, and how to deal with financial issues. Sometimes learning that you’re not alone is exactly what you need to get through the hard days.
Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
During the month of June, we raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. During this month, we shed light on how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
The more people are educated on Alzheimer’s, the more action we can take to improve the lives of those living with it. It’s also a time to shed light on the caregivers who work hard to support those living with dementia.
Statistics show every 3 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with dementia. 50 million people currently have it worldwide, and that number is estimated to reach 132 million by 2050.
Dementia impacts so many individuals and families worldwide, so it’s important we do our part to shed light on their fight. This Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, here’s how you can honor those struggling with the disease:
1. Provide support to caregivers
Caregiving is one of the toughest jobs out there. It can be overwhelming, and some days are very hard. Showing your support and solidarity with caregivers who are taking care of someone suffering with dementia, can be just what they need to get through the tough days.
2. Be vocal about your story
If dementia or Alzheimer’s has impacted your life, share your story. Personal experiences are what inspire others to take action. Honoring your story and sharing your experience can also help others realize they’re not alone.
3. Wear Purple
Don’t forget to go purple! Purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s Awareness Movement. Wearing purple the month of June shows you’re standing in solidarity with those impacted by this disease.
4. Participate in the 65 seconds of silence
In the United States, someone develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. Take a moment to honor those impacted with the disease, and stand in solidarity with their loved ones during this moment of silence.
5. Spread the word
Use your social media platform as a way to spread word about the movement. Use relevant hashtags, such as #ENDALZ and #TheLongestDay when sharing posts on social media. This spreads the word about the movement and inspires action across different channels.
6. Sign up to be an advocate
The Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Page is a place for you to sign up and become an advocate in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The page will send you simple ways you can take action in influencing policies surrounding the disease, and help create overall awareness.
7. Keep your brain healthy
Make sure you’re being an advocate for your own health. There’s no way to prevent Alzheimer’s, but there are steps you can take to encourage your brain to age in a healthy way. Prioritize your health and do your part in keeping your brain and body healthy.