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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, What You Can Do – Richmond, VA

- Wednesday, November 05, 2014

With over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, and those numbers expected to triple by 2050, it’s more important than ever to get informed on the science, prevention and treatment of dementia.  November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It was established to honor the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s, through awareness, education, and advocacy for a cure.

In addition to raising awareness and supporting those with the disease, Alzheimer’s Awareness Month also reminds us of the importance of Alzheimer's caregivers, who are there to help their loved ones.

How You Can Help Raise Alzheimer’s Awareness This Month

You can do something to contribute to Alzheimer’s awareness.  Here are a few  things people can do to help raise awareness and make an impact, not just during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month but all year.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Communities everywhere 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. Participants endeavor to meet an individual fundraising goal, and the proceeds directly help the association in its mission. Search for a walk near you.

Make a Donation to an Alzheimer’s Organization

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.

Raise Awareness in Your Workplace

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 a “Get grounded in the fight” coffee break or a “Go casual for a cause” Friday.

Participate in National Memory Screening Day

National Memory Screening Day takes place on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. This event aims to provide free, confidential 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. 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.

Volunteer with a Local or National Organization

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 United States, 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, advocacy, and more.

Share Your Alzheimer’s Story

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 United States, 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.

For more information on Alzheimer’s care, contact Spring Arbor.

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