Alzheimer’s Awareness: Why it Matters and What You Need to Know

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating. It strips away memory but also many other mental and physical capabilities necessary to lead a normal life. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s special report, “2023 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures,” approximately 6.7 million Americans age 65 or older have Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to grow to more than 13 million by 2060 as the population ages. But there is hope. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and a great time to help raise Alzheimer’s disease awareness and play a part in curing Alzheimer’s disease once and for all.

Where you can learn more about Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease awareness and knowledge go hand in hand. But many people have only scant knowledge about the disease, how it progresses and what they can do to minimize their risk. Thankfully there are many excellent sources of information available including:

Get involved with these volunteer opportunities

Between now and the end of Alzheimer’s disease there are many ways to raise Alzheimer’s awareness and support research. At the top of the list is the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This event provides not only the opportunity to show support but also to help raise money for ongoing research, caregiver support, and treatment. Last year the event brought in a record $100 million for the cause! The Alzheimer’s Association also seeks volunteers for programs, events, advocacy and communications.

For those who have a friend or family member living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, another volunteer option is to offer to spend time with them. This not only helps the individual but also the caregiver who may need a break. One way to help make the most of this opportunity is to become a Certified Dementia Volunteer™ through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners.

Observe “The Longest Day”

The longest day of the year is the summer solstice which falls in late June in the northern hemisphere. “The Longest Day” has become symbolic in the fight for Alzheimer’s awareness when people across the country hold fundraisers to honor loved ones or to show support. Whether it’s a bake sale, a golf outing or a bridge tournament, there are plenty of ways to help further research. To help organize a fundraiser the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day website provides a three-step process as well as examples of successful fundraising ideas.

Download our “Memory Care” guide.

Go purple!

Another simple way to show support for Alzheimer’s awareness is to wear purple. From t-shirts to caps to temporary tattoos to signs, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a variety of reasonably priced items that support the cause and bring attention to the need for more awareness.

For those planning fundraisers or other events, check out the Go Purple in June Combined Toolkit that explains the importance of Alzheimer’s awareness, and how to get involved and throw a successful fundraiser. In addition, the Toolkit provides a list of social media posts for sharing on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram and Facebook.

Understand the risk factors

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s special report, “2023 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures,” the lifetime risk for Alzheimer’s disease at age 45 is approximately 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men. While age, gender and genetics do contribute to risk and cannot be changed, other lifestyle factors are also implicated. At the top of the list is cardiovascular health which contributes to brain health, and can be undermined by diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and poor diet. Another factor is daily activity and one study showed that multiple activities like walking, playing cards or games, or connecting with family and friends can help lower risk.

Everyone can contribute something

One way everyone can boost Alzheimer’s awareness is to participate in a clinical trial. Clinical trials need people who are young and old (with and without a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia), caregivers, and people with risk factors for dementia to step up and help. According to the article, “Participating in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Research,” the contribution made by clinical trials is invaluable to finding a cure. To find a clinical trial that fits, check out the Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch® tool.

At Thrive Senior Living Alzheimer’s awareness is ongoing as we strive to make each day better for every one of our memory care residents. To find out more about memory care at Thrive Senior Living, download our “Memory Care” guide, then contact us to schedule a tour of one of our beautiful communities.