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Eight Ways to Honor Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

The Alzheimer’s Association has declared June Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a time for everyone to show support and raise awareness about the disease. Wearing purple and featuring the hashtag #ENDALZ on social media is a good start. Read on to learn the many ways you can join in the fight against this deadly disease. 

As stated by the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • More than 6 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s
  • Seventy-two percent are age 75 or older
  • One in nine people aged 65 and older (11.3%) has Alzheimer’s dementia.

Everyone who has a brain is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This disease is the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

The History of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

In 1983, Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month to recognize this little-known disease. At that time, there were fewer than 2 million people in America who had Alzheimer’s disease. 

As the disease has increased, so has awareness. In 2021, President Joe Biden proclaimed the support of the White House to accelerate research to fight for a cure, recognizing again, November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

June has been dubbed Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month to further the cause and put a spotlight on brain health. The Alzheimer’s Association made a significant connection with June’s summer solstice, proclaiming The Longest Day as an opportunity for supporters to come together to raise awareness by doing an activity of their choice to fight the darkness of Alzheimer's.

To further the cause around the world, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) designated September 21 as World Alzheimer’s Day in 1994, on the tenth anniversary of the organization’s origin. In 2012, the decision was made to extend awareness during the entire month so that Alzheimer and dementia associations around the world would have the opportunity to broaden their awareness programs beyond just World Alzheimer’s Day.

Alzheimer’s Disease vs. Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear later in life. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 6 million Americans, most of them age 65 or older, may have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a group of symptoms. The National Institute on Aging. explains dementia as the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering and reasoning—to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person's functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.

The Longest Day

On June 21—the summer solstice—people across the world will participate in fundraising activities associated with the Alzheimer’s Association’s, The Longest Day. It is the hope of the association that on this day, “the strength of our light will outshine the darkness of Alzheimer’s.”

There are many other ways to participate throughout the month of June. American House will hold various fundraisers to raise awareness and funds for the cause. Contact your local American House for more details on what your local community is doing to fight Alzheimer’s.

Here are eight ways to honor the fight:

1. Caregiver support.

Caring for a person with this disease can be overwhelming. Show your support to the caregiver in your life by recognizing their care needs or by simply engaging in a kind gesture.

2. Share your story.

So many of us have a story to tell surrounding the disease. Sharing your own Alzheimer’s story can provide hope and support, as well as inspire people to join the fight.

3. Go purple.

Purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement. Wear purple during the month of June to bring awareness to the disease.

4. 65 seconds of silence.

Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. Take a moment to recognize, in just over a minute’s time, a person’s life will change forever.

5. Fundraise on The Longest Day.

Whether it’s participating in a walk, game or event, join others across the world in raising funds and awareness on The Longest Day. Start/join a fundraiser here.

6. Get social.

Spread the word about Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month by using the hashtags #ENDALZ and #TheLongestDay on Instagram and Twitter. Change your Facebook profile picture to the Alzheimer’s Association frame to shine light on the disease.

7. Become an advocate.

Visit the Alzheimer’s Association advocacy page and sign up to join to be an advocate. By joining the network of advocates, the Alzheimer’s Association will send you alerts to take simple actions that will help influence national policy and create widespread awareness of this devastating disease.

8. Love your brain.

As of today, there is no way to prevent this disease. However, research suggests there are steps to be followed to encourage a healthy, aging brain. Check out 10 ways to love your brain.

Life at American House

Our personalized Memory Care program is designed to help residents live and be cared for with compassion throughout the stages of dementia. With focused attention on each resident, we join them where they are on their journey and assist in making it the best it can be. Our dedicated Memory Care neighborhood offers full-service amenities and wellness programming, individually designed to ensure our residents’ unique wants and needs are met.

At American House, we offer maintenance-free living at its finest. Our charming communities feature spacious apartments with a variety of amenities and services. Residents enjoy chef-prepared meals, weekly housekeeping, salon and barber shop services, fitness centers and so much more. With locations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Florida, you’re sure to find the proper level of care and services to fit your needs.

We offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care*, Respite Care and Hospice Care*.

Contact us to find out which American House community is right for you.

*Care provided by an independent, third-party health care provider at select communities.

Written By

Jodie Audia, RN, BSN

Jodie is American House Senior Living's Vice President of Life Enrichment and Cognitive Programming. She has 24 years of experience in the field of nursing. Her prior assignments include Fountain View Surgery Center, Wayne State University Physician Group, Henry Ford Health System, and St. John Providence Health System.

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