June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a month sponsored by The Alzheimer’s Association and set aside to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia. Learn more about dementia, how Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month strives to fight it the disease, and meaningful ways you can contribute to the fight against it.
What is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month?
Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia are reaching worldwide epidemic proportions. There are currently 47 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. If no cure is found, that number is expected to grow to 76 million by 2030. In the United States alone, there are 5.7 million people living with Alzheimer’s. It’s the 6th leading cause of the death and is the only cause among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.
To raise awareness and funds to fight this growing epidemic, The Alzheimer’s Association has declared June to be Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a month set aside to raise awareness for diseases that affect the brain.
The color purple has been chosen to help raise Alzheimer’s awareness as The Alzheimer’s Association encourages people to “Go Purple with a Purpose” throughout the month. The height of the fundraising efforts takes place on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice on June 21, 2018. Saying, “The day with the most light is the day we fight,” The Alzheimer’s Association encourages individuals, communities, and corporations alike, to join together, fundraise and raise awareness on The Longest Day.
Meaningful Ways to Participate in Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
While most fundraising will take place on The Longest Day, there are several simple ways to participate in raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia throughout the month. From simply wearing purple to hosting a fundraiser, everyone can do something to make a positive impact in the fight against Alzheimer’s this month.
Here are 13 ideas to get you started:
1. Take the Purple Pledge
Join the movement by taking the Purple Pledge, promising to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s this month.
2. Share your story
With so many people fighting dementia worldwide, most of us have stories on how the disease has affected us. Share your story on social media using the hashtag #ENDALZ or #EndAlzheimers and your story may be featured on The Alzheimer’s Association’s webpage.
3. Fundraise on The Longest Day
Throw a party, organize a 5K, or set up a lemonade stand. Find something you love doing and repurpose it to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. Taking place on the summer solstice, June 21, 2018, The Longest Day brings communities together worldwide to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s.
4. Wear purple on June 21
If organizing an event seems overwhelming or is just not possible right now, simply wear purple to show your support for people fighting the disease and their caregivers.
5. Create a Team for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s
A Walk to End Alzheimer’s is held in more than 600 communities around the country each year. The world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support, the walk encourages participants and their team to fundraise.
6. Change your social media profile
Add a frame to your Facebook profile to raise awareness and show your support for the cause. Make your picture one of you and your loved one fighting the disease or use it to showcase your family’s fundraising efforts.
7. Decorate common areas in your community or home in purple
Decorate your classroom, common area, yard, or home in purple show that you and your family are doing your part to support Alzheimer’s and dementia research and care.
8. Support the caregivers in your life
If you aren’t a caregiver yourself, chances are you know someone who is. Go out of your way this month to show your support, ask how you can better support them as they provide emotional and physical care for loved ones fighting dementia. Bring a meal, a coffee, or simply send a card showing you care.
9. Visit loved ones fighting the disease
Spend some extra time with loved ones who are fighting dementia. In the early stages of dementia, your loved ones need your support as they may be fearful of the progression of the disease. In-person visits are just as important for loved ones in the later stages of dementia. Studies show that spending time with loved ones is crucial to well-being in the later stages of the disease, even after they are unable to recognize visitors.
10. Create a family legacy
Work with a loved one to go through photos, reliving good memories, and maybe even creating a new photo book or video. Spending the time with loved ones, creating a bond, and creating a family legacy for generations to come is a great way to preserve family memories while engaging family members from old to young.
11. Contribute financially
Make a financial contribution to Alzheimer’s research. Alzheimer’s research is largely underfunded and researchers are always looking for new ways to raise monies for studies. Make a financial contribution to an Alzheimer’s research organization and know your money is going to a good cause.
12. Host an educational event
Many people do not understand Alzheimer’s or dementia until they are forced to face the truth about it after a diagnosis or a family member’s diagnosis. Help the people in your community learn more about the causes, signs, and symptoms of the disease by hosting an educational event.
13. Make time for self-care
One of the best ways to commemorate this month is by taking care of yourself. As we learn more about Alzheimer’s, we are finding the best way to treat the disease is to prevent it in the first place. Exercise, eating right, rest, and reducing stress are all great ways to potentially prevent Alzheimer’s and practice self-care.
How will you commemorate Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month? Do you have plans for The Longest Day? Share your plans with us in the comments below! We’d love to hear them!