By Samantha Padilla
The purple takeover at SOAR recently was to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s larger campaign that took place last month. Alzheimer Awareness Day was held on September 21 and is part of an international campaign to combat the stigma associated with dementia and diseases like Alzheimer's.
This global initiative encourages everyone to support World Alzheimer's Month by getting engaged in some form, from small businesses to major institutions like all of the world's Alzheimer and dementia associations. In order to promote awareness of persons in their community who are affected by Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, numerous Alzheimer and dementia groups throughout the world hold memory walks, fundraisers, awareness raising activities, and campaigns on this day.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and an estimated 6.7 million Americans age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s. Another 11 million people provide unpaid care for people with Alzeimer’s or other dementias.
But this is just a small portion of what we can do, there are many other ways to get involved.
Share your story. If you or a friend or family member has been impacted by Alzheimer's in any way, sharing your experience can help others feel less isolated. Discuss the experience with friends and family, on a blog, in a video, or simply by talking to them.
Raise awareness: Use social media to distribute educational resources and raise awareness about World Alzheimer's Day. Additionally, you can organize or go to nearby gatherings like workshops, seminars, or support groups.
Fundraise: Plan a charity event to collect money for Alzheimer's research and support services, such as a bake sale, fun run, or quiz night. To maximize your influence, remember to register your event with a recognized group like Alzheimer's International.
Volunteer: Donate your time and talents to a care facility or support group in your community for people with dementia. You can offer companionship, assistance with activities, or support with office work.
Advocate for change: Make a request for more money and support for Alzheimer's research, care, and prevention by contacting your local lawmakers. Keep up with changes in policy and express your opinions.
The focus of Alzheimer's Awareness Day in 2023 will center on risk factors and risk reduction, highlighting the critical role they may play in potentially delaying or even avoiding the onset of dementia. As preventative measures, it promotes early intervention, healthy lifestyle choices, and routine monitoring of cognitive health. Importantly, it emphasizes the need to continue risk reduction even after receiving a diagnosis because addressing lifestyle and health-related factors may be able to slow the advancement of the disease and enhance quality of life.