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Grassroots Campaigns - Making the Difference for People with Alzheimer's

Posted by on 6/27/2015 to Dementia Awareness
Did you see this last weekend's Parade newspaper insert published on The Longest Day, an Alzheimer's Association Awareness event? The front cover, in large, bold letters, shouted out "PEOPLE POWER". This story was not about how people are helping animals, rebuilding broken down homes, or volunteering in disaster-relief efforts - all very wonderful initiatives, but ones that are often showcased and shared about. No, this "People Power" story, authored by Paula Spencer Scott, was about how individual Alzheimer caregivers and advocates are coming together in grassroots efforts, to piece together a better world for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Inspired Solutions for People Living with Alzheimer's Disease

Every 67 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Paula explains that despite the staggering 2015 statistic of 5.3 million Americans living with the disease, there are few treatments available.  Instead, solutions to help patients are coming from caregivers themselves or from advocates that have dedicated their time to making a difference.  Paula writes, "Some reach hundreds or thousands at once.  Other improve a handful of lives at a time."

These resources that are shared, are small but making a big difference.  Check them out and if you have more to add, let us know!

  • Dementia-friendly communities  - Any community can work to be dementia-friendly, so that business owners and community members understand the condition and can help.
  • Music and Memory - Founder Dan Cohen realized what a powerful difference music can make for those with Alzheimer's, so now furnishes donated iPods to care facilities along with family guides for use. 
  • Memory cafes - These bring together patients and caregivers in a supportive environment where attendees become friends and lifelines to each other, usually over a cup of coffee and treats.

MindStart Provides Activities to Engage the Mind of People with Alzheimer's

The article did not mention MindStart, but I would like to share the piece we have played.  I started MindStart 5 years ago when I realized there was no simpler puzzle or game (short of a child's game) for the person with dementia to engage in once they could no longer use traditional puzzles, games, or books.  My occupational therapy background, which allows me to analyze an activity and adapt it so that the demands of the activity or task match the abilities of the person, combined with my experience (and passion) helping people with Alzheimer's, led me to design brand new products, never before on the market. 

Besides the products, we educate and give ideas - all to support the mission to keep people with dementia active and engaged in life. Profits made from the sales have gone back into the company to design new products and spread the word about MindStart. We thank you all for your support!

Learn more about author Paula Spencer Scott and her book, Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul Saving Wisdom for Caregivers here.

See the full Parade article here.

Learn more about MindStart activity products here.

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