Did you know that June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month? Did you know that everyone with a brain is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease? Worldwide, there are at least 44 million people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Having personally watch someone I love lose their life at a very young age to this horrible disease and since have watched 2 of my friends watch their mother’s lives be taken as well, I felt it was time to use my blog to bring some awareness.
What is Dementia? Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can get Dementia and/or Alzheimer’s and it’s not a normal part of aging although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone as young as 40.
In doing my research I was shocked to see that 2/3’s of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. And another fact that kept me wanting to learn more, women in their 60’s are two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s during the rest of their lives than breast cancer. And one fact that didn’t surprise me, more than 60% of dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers are women.
I have sat on this post for a few reasons. My heart pings and my eyes sting with tears as I think of an aunt that I loved like a mom who died from dementia. I have gone back and forth on whether to make this post about her, highlight care takers, or share a story of one of my two friends that has been feeling the pain firsthand to this awful, incurable disease. I instead searched on YouTube for someone I do not know that has a story. I came across this…and well, it’s really all the same story in the end. This disease doesn’t affect one person, it affects the whole family. Take a few minutes and try to understand from a caretaker’s point of view. This happens to be the daughter of a young mom, that learns a lesson thru the heartache.
Cherish the moment, it’s all that we really have.
So what can I do? What can you do? What can anyone do? I don’t know, that is why I am starting here, on my blog. I know that awareness is a start. Learning that this is the only disease that has increased in deaths while all the other top killers have gone down due to medicine and research, early detection, etc. so this is reason alone is enough to want me to help bring awareness. There just isn’t anything to slow down or stop dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Florida is starting to take the steps for awareness for Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 709 and House Bill 711, which creates a new Alzheimer Disease research program and further addresses the needs of people with Alzheimer’s and their families that care for them. Governor Rick Scott said, “Alzheimer’s disease has touched the lives of many Floridians and their loved ones. By signing this legislation, we further meet the needs of individuals who are battling this disease today, and prepare for the future by increasing research opportunities. We will continue to focus on improving the health and well-being of Floridians with Alzheimer’s disease while enhancing Florida’s developing research community.”
One of the ways I have chosen to show my support is by purchasing the Alex and Ani Sunflower Charm Bangle. They came up with this design from the Promise Flowers featured in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® Promise Gardens, a defining aspect of their longest-running signature event. The sunflower signifies many of the attributes — strength, resilience and optimism — and they work to help to instill and promote in individuals living with the disease and those who care for them.
Want to help in the battle to end Alzheimer’s? Through December 2015, 20% of proceeds received by Alex and Ani from selling the Sunflower Charm Bangle, with a minimum donation of $25,000, will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association to advance research and enhance care and support for those living with Alzheimer’s.
Shop the Sunflower Charm Bangle.
There are many ways to take part in helping with the Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Getting active with any or all of the links below is a great start.
Alzheimer’s Association Website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
*Images credit from the Alzheimer’s Awareness Web and/or Social Media Sites and Alex and Ani. Research taken from the Alzheimer’s Awareness site.
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Thanks for sharing this post. I just lost my aunt last week to this disease. It runs in my family so I pray everyday that it doesn’t happen to me.
My grandfather had this horrible disease and I know first hand how hard it is to see someone you love go through that.
This is great awareness. Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks so much for bringing this to the public’s attention. This is a horrible, debilitating disease that destroys the victim’s mind and body.
So brutal… and in need of attention. Thank you for sharing this information. Alzheimer’s is such a tragedy when it strikes.
This is a heartbreaking condition. I am so sorry about your aunt. Thank you for spreading awareness.
Unfortunately, Alzheimers runs in both sides of my family. It’s really scary! Every female on my dad’s side of the family got it in their 80s or 90s and it is terrifying to watch!
As someone who worked with Alzheimers and Dimensia patients, I can attest how tragic this disease really is. Im glad they are helping to bring attention to the cause.
Our family has been through so much with this. Thank you so much for bringing this to light. More awareness is key! There are so many people that need support and it’s out there!
Thanks you so much for sharing this. The best best way to fight things like this is sharing information and continuing to educate ourselves on prevention.
My grandmother has this awful disease. I find it heartbreaking and it makes me feel so helpless. Grandma has become so very childlike. She doesn’t remember who I am nor does she recognize any of her children. A cure cannot come soon enough.
Great videos! More people should be informed. I will be sharing.
Greta post, I know so many people that suffered with this – awareness is key. Great initiative with the necklace too!
Thank you for the reminder and the commitment to this great cause.
My FIL’s Mom had alzheimers and it was so tough on my FIL to watch his Mama forget everything. I just can’t imagine.
Devastating disease. I hope we turn our Tax dollars to this instead of war.
great awareness. My sister’s FIL passed from this and her family walks every year for the case to help find a cure.
Thank you for posting this reminder and sharing this information. It’s so important to be informed.
It’s an awful disease. I’m so sorry you lost someone you loved to this.
Alzheimers is just a horrific disease. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to go through this with a loved one. Thank you for posting about this.
I am so glad that you are helping to bring awareness to this disease. It affects so many families and it’s really heartbreaking. I hope that they can find a cure.
I wish they knew more about this illness and how it happens. It is sad to see someone with it.