June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter is encouraging people to wear purple to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and honor those affected by the disease.
The organization is also encouraging conversations about Alzheimer’s with a family member or friend who is exhibiting symptoms. A 2018 Alzheimer’s Association survey found a majority of Americans would be concerned about offending a family member (76 percent), or ruining their relationship (69 percent), if they were to approach that person about observed signs of Alzheimer’s.
Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. It is America’s sixth leading cause of death, affecting more than 5 million Americans and 16 million caregivers. Despite Alzheimer’s growing impact, many families struggle with discussing the issue.
“We are asking everyone to come together to support Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month with the movement’s signature color – purple – and to talk about memory loss and other potential warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter. “Close family members are typically the first to notice memory issues or cognitive problems, but they are often hesitant to say something – even when they know something is wrong. Having these conversations is important especially since growing evidence suggests that early detection and diagnosis can lead to a more fulfilling life.”
To help people understand early symptoms of Alzheimer’s or behaviors that merit discussion, the Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 Warning Signs. Should these signs appear, it is important to talk about them with the person experiencing symptoms and encourage them to speak with a medical professional.
The Western Carolina Chapter and supporters are hosting the following events and education programs to commemorate Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month:
The Longest Day
Leading up to and culminating on Friday, June 21 – the summer solstice and the day with the most light – participants will host an event or choose an activity – biking, hiking, playing bridge, swimming, knitting and more – to shine a light on the 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and the more than 16 million family members and friends providing care and support. Whether it’s choosing a favorite activity, hosting an event or joining a team, participants will ignite a global conversation about Alzheimer’s disease, the brain and other dementias as part of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month in June. To start or join a team, host an event, register individually, or to learn more about The Longest Day visit alz.org/thelongestday or facebook.com/fightalz.
The following are some The Longest Day events taking place throughout the 49 counties of the Western Carolina Chapter:
- Piedmont Region
- Triad Area
- Mountain Area
- Saturday, June 22 – Mountain Jammers – Jamfest in Swannanoa
Support and Education Programs
The following Alzheimer’s education programs taking place throughout the Western Carolina Chapter region:
- 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Monday, June 3 – South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church in Charlotte
- Tuesday, June 18 – Carillon of Lincolnton in Lincolnton
- Wednesday, June 19 – Balanced Body Solutions in Cornelius
- Tuesday, June 25 – Iredell County Senior Center in Statesville
- Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body: Tips from the Latest Research
- Wednesday, June 26 – Countryside Village Retirement Community in Stokesdale
- Thursday, June 27 – Curis at Thomasville in Thomasville
- Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Tuesday, June 4 – Hudson Library in Highlands
- Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior
- Effective Communication Strategies
- Wednesday, June 12 – Friends Homes at Guilford in Greensboro
The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter helps families and friends navigate challenges and considerations at each stage of the disease, through face-to-face conversations with experts, a free 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900) and comprehensive support and resources at http://www.alz.org/.
Additional Facts and Figures: (http://www.alz.org/facts/)
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
- An estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with the disease, including 170,000 North Carolina residents, are living with Alzheimer’s, a number estimated to grow to as many as 14 million by year 2050.
- More than 16 million family and friends, including 473,000 in North Carolina, provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in the United States.
- In 2018, friends and family of those with Alzheimer’s in North Carolina provided an estimated 538 million hours of unpaid care, a contribution valued at $6.8 billion.
About the Alzheimer’s Association:
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.
About the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter:
The Western Carolina Chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in 49 central and western North Carolina counties. We provide a variety of services including a 24/7 Helpline, support groups, educational programs, and MedicAlert®. We offer opportunities to get involved and to make a difference. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease or the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit www.alz.org/northcarolina or call (800) 272-3900. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.