Last Updated: August 29, 2019
September is World Alzheimer’s Month and it’s an ideal time to get involved, help raise awareness and show support so we can one day find a cure for the disease.
When my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2005, it suddenly all made sense. She hadn’t been herself for some time, but the decline had been subtle and so, it was difficult to diagnose. I was sad but I was mostly empathetic for her as I knew her life’s memories were fading fast. What I didn’t know was that I was just one of 44 million people across the globe that would be personally affected by this devastating disease.
When a parent or senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s heartbreaking.
As the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s currently affects one in every nine people age 65 or older — roughly 5 million people, although misdiagnosis means that as many as half don’t know it. By 2050, nearly 14 million Americans could be living with the disease, unless researchers develop new approaches to prevent or cure it.
Each day is another opportunity to get involved in making a difference.
So what can you do?
Let others know that they are not alone in this. Help raise awareness by donating to this great cause, wearing purple or participating in an Alzheimer’s walk.
Share your stories and find strength with others. The more everyone knows about Alzheimer’s, the more support there will be in finding a cure.
Here is how you can help make a difference:
Actor Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller, whose mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 55, are actively trying to change the face of the disease.
As Rogen states, Alzheimer’s has an “image problem” as an “older person’s disease.” But this simply isn’t true. Younger people need to be actively involved in generating awareness for this disease.
The more we talk about this disease and the more we do to let people know this is an everyone problem, not an “old person’s problem,” the less negative stigma there will be.
Learning is empowering, and we can make September a month of sharing all that we know about this disease. Together, we can make a difference.
Today is a new day and each day we can do something to help change these perceptions.
What will you do to help make a difference during World Alzheimer’s Month? Share your stories and suggestions with us in the comments below.