It is WORLD ALZHEIMERS MONTH!
September is World Alzheimer's month. Shout it out - it is WORLD ALZHEIMERS MONTH! Okay, most of us are not ready to shout it out. Alzheimer's is a condition that is often not talked about or only behind closed doors. True, it is a condition that affects the patient and family in ways that are very personal. But not talking about it at all is also not doing service to the awareness that this condition needs.
What Would an Ideal World Look Like for Alzheimers Patients?
I can think of a few wishes based on my work as an occupational therapist, going between physicians, patients, families, and care professionals:
- Physicians who did not discount concerns about memory loss as "old age", but instead who were mindful of dementia symptoms and the next steps of assessment and education to the patient and family. I believe this has come a long way in the past 5 years, but continuing to advocate for answers and help from the medical community will help.
- Resources that were easy to find and access for both the patient and the family with perhaps a road map to help lead the way of where to start. Starting with your local Alzheimer's Association can be a great first step to getting resources and support. Also, occupational therapists trained in dementia care can be a very valuable resource and can be covered through Medicare and insurance with a physician's order.
- A community that understands and supports people with dementia. This includes stores and restaurants, friends, and neighbors. We all have a fear of the unknown. Until dementia is less 'unknown' and more understood, people will shy away from being there when the support is needed most. I don't blame these people for their fear but hope that events such as World Alzheimer's Month can help to chip away at it.
Those are a few wishes from me... What are you wishes? Please share on our blog or on our Facebook page. Together we can help raise awareness and support!
Coming this week....what conversations can you start and activities can you do for World Alzheimer's Day on September 21st?