June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Roughly 47 million people worldwide are affected by dementia. Having a month dedicated to Alzheimer’s & brain awareness allows us to start a global conversation about the importance of brain health. During this month, you will see friends and coworkers wear purple or shine a purple light, supporting the scientists and doctors that are working on Alzheimer’s research to find treatments for this brain disease and others like it. Looking closer to home, 5 million American’s have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. One in three elderly patients dies with Alzheimer’s or dementia, make it the sixth leading fatality in the United States. The research being performed is essential to the well-being of everyone.
Did you know that 15 million caregivers give 18 billion hours of their time, unpaid to care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease? Many take on an extra job or postpone retirement to become a caregiver, spending about $5,000 a year for Alzheimer’s care. For some families, this is a dire strain on their resources. Mobilizing family, friends and coworkers to recognize the urgency and necessity of Alzheimer’s treatment in the years to come is especially important, not just this month, but all year round. It will cost Americans 236 billion dollars this year to care for Alzheimer’s patients, and may cost up to one trillion dollars by 2050 if a cure has not been found.
What can you do to help?
- The Alzheimer’s Association’s Facebook page allows you to change your profile photo to a purple theme. This will get people to ask questions and gives you a chance to spread awareness to your friends and family.
- You can also wear purple one day a week and be vocal about why you are doing so.
- Share stories on Social Media using the hashtag #ENDALZ to inspire others
- Participate in the Longest Day Event – A fundraising event on the day with the most light of the year. Together, the strength of our light will outshine the darkness of Alzheimer’s
- Go to alz.org/June to take the purple pledge and commit to raising awareness, learning the facts about Alzheimer’s and spreading the word
- Hold your own event and ask guests to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association
What can you do for better brain health?
- Exercise at least 3-5 times a week – In addition to improved heart health, regular endurance exercise, like running, swimming or biking, can also foster new brain cell growth and preserve existing brain cells.
- Hobbies like puzzles, games or other mental stimulation – You have something called a “brain reserve”, which helps your brain adapt and respond to changes and resist damage. Your brain reserve begins to develop in childhood and gets stronger as you move through adulthood. People who continue to learn, embrace new activities and develop new skills and interests are building and improving their brain reserve.
- Sleeping for six hours or more – Quality sleep puts us in a better mood and sharpens our brains. It also gives us the ability and energy to run our busy lives.
- Connecting with family/friends and staying social – Studies have shown that those with the most social interaction within their community experience the slowest rate of memory decline.
Alzheimer’s is a very scary disease. It will take your memory, your happiness, and health. It’s serious and we need to raise awareness. If you would like to know more about Alzheimer’s & Brain awareness, please don’t hesitate to navigate to the contact us form and reach out or give us a call at your local office. Those numbers are listed below:
Charleston – (662) 647-0653
Clarksdale – (662) 624-4141
Cleveland – (662)756-4676
Greenwood – (662) 455-3535
Grenada – (662) 294-0726
Indianola – (662) 887-1518
At Sunflower Home Health, we truly believe that education and awareness are the keys to making the Mississippi Delta a healthy and safe place to live, something that we are committed to making a reality