The CDC cites Alzheimer’s disease as the most common type of dementia—furthermore, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s is increasing every year. While almost six million people in America live with Alzheimer’s disease in 2021, that number is expected to grow to around 14 million by 2060.
Dementia is a broad term that refers to a range of symptoms involving confusion, memory loss and general forgetfulness. You are probably familiar with some of the conditions included in dementia, including brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
A lot of mystery surrounds Alzheimer’s and scientists and medical professionals still aren’t totally sure what causes it or how to prevent it. One of the best ways to get involved with #EndAlz during Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness Month in June is to get familiar with symptoms and risks associated with Alzheimer’s, find ways to support Alzheimer’s and dementia research and teach others what you learn about Alzheimer’s.
While Alzheimer’s symptoms are different for everyone, some of the first signs you can look for in loved ones include changes in their mood or behavior, a new frequency in misplacing or forgetting things, sudden trouble with money management and memory loss that begins to disrupt daily life. By recognizing these signs early on, you are more likely to help yourself or your loved one get the care they need.
Keep in mind these symptoms don’t always indicate Alzheimer’s—there may be a more tangible explanation such as a vitamin or sleep deficiency. Still, it’s important to be aware of these symptoms so that you will have plenty of time to make a care plan if necessary.
With quality care, it may be possible to elongate or delay some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s that can be life-altering. Additionally, receiving enriching care will help alleviate some of the behavior differences a person with Alzheimer’s might experience.
When learning about Alzheimer’s, it’s important to understand that nothing about this disease is anyone’s fault. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly common—what’s more important than questioning “Why me?” or “Why my loved one?” is to show compassion and empathy and get the help and support you need.
June 20 is the summer solstice—the day in the year that receives the most daylight. People use this day as an occasion to get active against the darkness that is Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, purple is the official Alzheimer’s awareness color, and people “go purple” in a myriad of ways, from social media awareness to email outreach to in-person events.
You can fundraise through your Facebook or Instagram sites or choose to participate in an awareness fundraiser like a walk, cookoff, arts and crafts day or a party. Like last year, make sure to be mindful about CDC social distancing guidelines in the ongoing pandemic. But have fun spreading awareness and compassion to those who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
At Fedelta, we are cognizant of the stressful and life-altering factors Alzheimer’s can bring to a family’s life. Our pillars of care for clients with Alzheimer’s include safety, engagement, independence, dignity and relationships. Since the trajectory of Alzheimer’s varies so widely from person to person, it’s our goal to celebrate individuality and promote independence wherever possible. On June 20th and always, we are proud to join the fight against Alzheimer’s and help however we can to #EndAlz.