November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Month. The month was designated to Alzheimer’s by the late President Ronald Reagan in 1983, who was, as we all know, himself diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease later in life. This year, President Barrack Obama proclaimed November as “National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, 2013,” asserting, “this month, we stand with everyone confronting the painful reality of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis; lend our support to the families who care for them.”
So what can we do all month long to show our support for loved ones and make others aware?
Why Awareness Makes All the Difference
An ounce of prevention is a worth a pound of cure. It’s a cliche for a reason: because it’s usually true. Doing what you can to prevent Alzheimer’s takes some effort but most of it involves common sense. The Mayo Clinic highlights some of the common factors may contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Lack of exercise
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- A diet lacking in fruit and vegetables
- Lack of social engagement
It may seem obvious what not to do – but getting older is no picnic. If your loved one isn’t used to exercising, for example, – hates veggies or still smokes – what can you do to help them break old habits and start some healthy new ones?
Start with Your Community
The most important thing you can do is talk about Alzheimer’s. Wear purple. Live healthy yourself. Encourage loved ones to enroll in continuing education classes to help them connect with others and engage their learning. Spread the word about Alzheimer’s. It’s important that we do this every single day, that we live our lives as consciously as we possibly can.
How will you be as healthy as you can so you can live a better quality of life? Will you reach out to someone who could use your support? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.