Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive disease of the brain that eventually leads to death. It mostly affect older people but there are some cases of early onset Alzheimer’s, with people being diagnosed with the disease in their 30s. It is crucial to have some Alzheimer’s awareness as this disease affects a significant proportion of the population, whether directly or indirectly. It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and these people have at least one person who takes care of them.
It is very important to have knowledge about the disease as it is quite possible that you know someone who has the disease or has been affected by the disease. Statistics show that 1 in 8 older people (people above the age of 65) have Alzheimer’s disease. With so many people being affected by the disease, the month of November has been set as the Alzheimer’s awareness month. The purpose of the Alzheimer’s awareness month is to specifically make people aware of the disease, keep them abreast of any developments in the research for a cure and also very importantly, take time to appreciate the Alzheimer’s disease caregivers. Caregivers include family members, social workers, health care workers, volunteers and others.
The Alzheimer’s awareness color is purple, which is the same as the awareness colors for cancer, colitis, Lupus, Hodgkin’s disease, Animal abuse and several other causes. However, Alzheimer’s has an alternate color, particularly for the silicone bracelets, which is white. To support the cause, you can buy t-shirts, magnets, ribbons, buttons and other gift items that are sold to raise money for further research into this debilitating disease. There are also opportunities to make direct donations to the cause.
Alzheimer’s awareness has increased greatly partly due to the fact that some notable personalities have been diagnosed with the disease. Famous personalities include former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and the actor Charlton Heston (known very famously for his portrayal of Moses in the movie ‘The 10 Commandments’). There have also been a number of movies that portrayed the disease as one of their themes such as the 2004 movie, ‘The Notebook’.
The Alzheimer’s association, which was founded in 1980, is probably one of the leading sources of Alzheimer’s awareness information. The association is not only involved in providing support and care to people affected by Alzheimer’s disease but also to lobby for policy changes and funding for research into the disease.
There are also numerous Alzheimer’s awareness websites on the internet today. Some of the websites provide useful tips for caregivers, support for families affected by the disease, current research towards a cure, and some facts about the disease. Some of the websites are tributes to people who had Alzheimer’s and succumbed to it or personal journeys of sufferer’s and their caregivers.