Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: 5 Ways To Show Your Support
During the month of November, you may be seeing more purple than usual, thanks to the National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. First designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, there were, at the time, fewer than 2 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, the number has more than doubled, reaching 5.4 million. If you add in the caregivers also affected by the disease, you see that nearly 15 million people are impacted by this progressive neurological disease.
1. Honor a Caregiver
Purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s Association, who is encouraging people in the month of November to honor a caregiver by leaving an online tribute on their website. This is an easy and free way to say thank you or honor someone working hard to care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s. Caregivers often work tirelessly to care for a loved one who is slowly fading away, requiring more and more care as the disease progresses. Honoring them can be a small but powerful encouragement in a daily battle.
The Alzheimer’s Association website also includes several other caregiver profiles, an outstanding way to help unite caregivers across the nation by showing them they are not alone in their efforts. Some of these stories also include the perspective of a newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease patient. Progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s can become increasingly isolating for both patients and caregivers; support groups in person and online can be a huge emotional support in the hardest times.
2. Join Your Local Walk To End Alzheimer’s
November is also one of the most popular months to host a Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Walks are held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, and you can search for a walk near you at the Alzheimer’s Association’s walk locator.
3. Shop Alzheimer’s Awareness Apparel
If you’re looking for an easy way to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease around your work or school, why not wear purple throughout the month? You can find a wide range of apparel – from caps, to ties and scarfs, to shirts – that sport the tagline #ENDALZ. Share your look on social media, and direct your friends and followers to find out more about the disease at the Alzheimer’s Association Facebook page.
4. Be an Advocate for Change
You can also add your voice to the thousands of Alzheimer’s disease advocates working to encourage the U.S. government to prioritize and consider the disease and its victims in national policy. The Alzheimer’s Association has an in-depth Advocacy 101 section that contains lots of great resources for helping raise awareness at your local and national levels.
5. Make a Donation
Finally, you can make a donation to help fund research and services for those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. Donations are tax deductible and can be made in several ways: as a tribute to someone, on a monthly basis, by sponsoring a walker in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s disease, or even by donating stock. You may even use November to raise awareness around your workplace by hosting a giving campaign or education program.
Ideally, we would live in a world where a month to recognize Alzheimer’s disease would not be necessary. But, unfortunately, more and more people are facing this heartbreaking disease every year. Through simple actions, we can help raise awareness and funds for medical research. And perhaps just as important, we can let caregivers know they are not alone in their battle.