Many families are familiar with the toll Alzheimer’s and dementia has on relationships with loved ones. The disease touches enough people that the US designates each November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers month, where participants are encouraged to wear purple in support of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alz.org states that, “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.” The majority of Alzheimer’s patients are over 65, but up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s, which can appear in those as young as 40.
President Ronald Reagan designated November as Alzheimer’s Awareness month in 1983, when less than 2 million Americans had the disease. Compare that with today’s numbers of well over 5 million, and it’s easy to see the need for continued recognition. In the past several decades, significant progress has been made in understanding and treating Alzheimer’s, but a cure has not yet been identified. The Alzheimer’s Association has been involved in every major milestone on the way, which makes supporting them one of the most important aspects of this month.
Getting involved this month comes in a variety of forms. The Alzheimer’s Association is organizing many fundraising walks throughout the country for participants to raise donations. Additionally, you can sign the pledge to end Alzheimer’s, as well as donate time to volunteer. Of course, monetary donations are always welcome and go directly to funding research to end the disease. Last but not least, wearing purple shows that you are supporting Alzheimer’s research, as well as the caregivers that work directly with patients. There’s no wrong way to get involved!
New Perspective was inspired by one special woman named Betty, who suffered from the disease. The idea came after Betty, the founder’s mother-in-law, was invited to live with them during her early stages of Alzheimer’s. Spending her last 7 years around family prompted the creation of New Perspective, as the family saw the need for an assisted living community with an emphasis on memory care. To hear more about Betty, read her full story on our website.
November is a bittersweet month for many. We encourage everyone to think about getting involved this year in the hopes that, one day soon, no one will suffer from this disease.