Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that results in a form of dementia and is expected to impact 76 million people by 2030. That means tens of millions of families across the world will be dealing with Alzheimer’s by 2030.
It’s a growing problem and one that impacts everyone around the person suffering from Alzheimer’s. Learn how you can support them during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
What Is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month?
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month takes place every year in the month of June and is launched by The Alzheimer Association of America. It is a month-long campaign to share and spread the message of Alzheimer’s awareness.
During the month this collective message sharing includes teaching others what goes on in the life of a person with Alzheimer’s. Part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s intent is to run The Longest Day campaign during this month, on the longest day of the year which occurs on the Summer solstice.
What Is The Longest Day?
The message of The Longest Day campaign is to bring the world to a collective consciousness about what a day in the life of someone caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is really like. The message is, Alzheimer’s impacts the entire family. There are over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and 15 million Americans caring for them on any given day in Any Town, America.
June 21 is the longest day of the year with the Summer solstice when the world has more daylight than on any other day of the year. The Alzheimer’s Association is using The Longest Day to create awareness of what life is like for those living with Alzheimer’s every day. The message is strong: every day is long for them. You can share that message on social media on June 21. During the rest of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month there are a number of other ways to promote awareness and support this cause.
Visit Loved Ones or Dementia Patients
Every stage of dementia is an important one to the patient, and getting involved early in the process is an important step for anyone who wants to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s. Studies show that early involvement with patients of dementia contributes to improved health and quality of life in the later stages. It’s good for both of you and is a great way to spread Alzheimer’s awareness, as well as increase your own awareness of what living with Alzheimer’s is like.
Many Alzheimer’s patients reach a stage where living in a facility is required. When they find care that feels like family they thrive, and visits from anyone contribute to that.
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month on Social Media
The Alzheimer’s Association uses social media as the launching pad for their Alzheimer’s Awareness Month campaign and wants you to as well. For every post, the Association says that if 5,000 people shared it, and then three more did, the message would reach 5 million people. That is what spreading awareness is about. During the entire month of June, you can use social media to raise awareness as well. A badge will be available to turn your Facebook purple, the color of Alzheimer’s Awareness month.
The Association also encourages sharing photos of you in purple and using the hashtag #ENDALZ all month long on all social media platforms. You can also use the #EndAlzheimers hashtag on any social media platform all month long during Alzheimer’s Awareness month.
Every cause needs money to support progress, and Alzheimer’s is no different. Help associations that you like that are connected to Alzheimer’s by raising money for them. In this day and age you could begin raising money for Alzheimer’s awareness by simply clicking open a new web page, or setting up a lemonade stand outside your home. There is no way to raise money that is too small or too big when you are fighting for a cure.
Another way to raise money for Alzheimer’s research is to organize a walk to end Alzheimer’s. You could have a team assembled in minutes to help you walk to end Alzheimer’s. A formal Walk to End Alzheimer’s happens every year in over 600 communities in America and is considered one of the largest events in the world to promote Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
Host an Awareness Session
The definition of “awareness” is knowledge of something that is fact. You have an awareness of something when you learn more about it. That’s what Alzheimer Awareness Month is all about, making people aware. One way to increase awareness is to host your own Alzheimer’s awareness session. Have a party at your home that celebrates people with Alzheimer’s or caregivers who are dedicating their lives to them. Be part of the solution by helping others become more aware, and have fun with it. Learn and grow together.
Share Your Story
If you have an Alzheimer’s story, sharing your story during Alzheimer’s Awareness month will help you to bring awareness to this disease, help raise money for a cure, and will also help you to find support for yourself during this time. Share your story online and become one of the voices of Alzheimer’s awareness. Sharing stories is how the world learns what life with Alzheimer’s is really like, and also helps to raise dollars for research for a cure.
Invest in Solutions
The most important component of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is the need to work collectively to find solutions to the problems faced by Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers daily. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a full-time job, and this is one of the biggest missions of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. There were approximately 18.2 billion hours of Alzheimer’s caregiver hours in 2016, with a health care cost of over $230 billion.
As much as we must support Alzheimer’s patients, we must also support those making so many sacrifices. Spread awareness of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month by supporting caregivers and those providing all the comforts of home to improve the quality of life of those living with dementia.