World Alzheimer's Day - How Can You Make a Difference?
World Alzheimer's Day is on Saturday, September 21st. Activities around the world will occur, as organizations around the world collaborate to raise awareness about Alzheimer's and dementia. Whether something big or something small, we can each do something to make a difference that day. Consider a few of the ideas below.
Communicate...Start a Conversation About Dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer's generally does just not come up in conversation, so here a few ways to sneak it into conversation and a few facts to share:
Start the "About Dementia" Conversation with...
- I heard something interesting on the radio the other day
- Someone told me this interesting fact
- I read on this great blog (ok, putting in a small plug!)
- The term dementia is not itself a disease. It is a term used when mental skills decline and start to impact a person's daily life.
- There are many types of dementia - Alzheimer's is the most common. Other examples include stroke-related (or vascular) dementia and Parkinson's dementia.
- With the right approach, the person with Alzheimer's can talk to you and will appreciate the interaction. A good rule of thumb is approach the person from the front; make eye contact or extend your hand; introduce yourself and say "I am glad to see you today."
Show Purple...Support People with Alzheimer's
- Dress in purple and tell people it is to support those affected by Alzheimer's disease.
- Change your Facebook profile picture for the day to a purple, End Alz icon.
- Bring purple frosted cookies or other treats to your work, community, and family events. Explain the reason behind the purple.
The fact is that 75% of people with dementia and 64% of family caregivers believe there are negative associations for those diagnosed with dementia. 40% of people with dementia report they have been avoided or treated differently. (World Alzheimer Report 2012). This needs to be changed and we all have the power to do something. Whether you know someone who was affected or do just one small thing, help us to raise awareness about Alzheimer's and other dementias.
Share with us what you do! Comment and share photos below, on the MindStart Facebook page, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the entries will randomly be drawn and the lucky winner will receive a free, MindStart puzzle. Deadline to share your "Make a Difference" experience for the prize drawing is Monday, September 23rd.