June Is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

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by Mary Chapman |

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Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

From participating in a fundraiser on the longest day of the year, to sporting purple gear and sharing stories, supporters are marking Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, as they do each June.

The purpose is to raise awareness among the general public, as well as among policymakers, public authorities, industry representatives, scientists, and health professionals.

Awareness and recognition are key to increasing the recognition, diagnosis, understanding, and management of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disorder thought to affect 6.2 million U.S. residents age 65 and older. By 2050, that figure is expected to more than double to 12.7 million.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a host of activities and events planned. For one, the organization is encouraging supporters to help raise awareness by donning purple, the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement, or by changing their Facebook photo frame to purple and using the hashtags #ENDALZ or #EndAlzheimers. Participants also are asked to share on social media why they’ve “gone purple.”

To help with the “purple” campaign, the organization has enlisted the help of celebrities, including as actor Rita Wilson, who is shown in a purple T-shirt in a photo on the Alzheimer’s Association’s website holding a poster that has the words “For My Mom.”

“Caregivers are just amazing angels,” Wilson states in a quote below the photo. “I am in awe of their ability to do the job of taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s.”

Other notable personalities include Olympic gold medalist Jeff Henderson, actor Oscar Nunez, celebrity chef Madison Cowan, actor Amy Aquino, actor David Hyde Pierce, professional gymnast Laurie Hernandez, actor Peter Gallagher, actor Yvette Nicole Brown, and actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

Supporters also are invited to become a part of its online gallery by, for example, sharing on Instagram or Twitter a photo of themselves with their family member or friend who has Alzheimer’s.

On June 20, the Alzheimer’s Association will present The Longest Day, a fundraiser in which participants can engage in an activity of their choosing. Categories include exercise, games, hobbies, sports, parties, and arts.

“The Longest Day is the day with the most light — the summer solstice,” the organization states on its website. “On June 20, people from across the world will fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through a fundraising activity of their choice. Whether you’re participating at home, online, or in person, we have plenty of fun ideas to engage family and friends in The Longest Day.”

Those who are planning to “get active” for The Longest Day may take the Solstice Challenge. The event calls for participants to log 16 hours of physical activity from June 1 through June 20 to compete for a host of incentive prizes.

Awareness Month participants also are invited to take time this month to become an Alzheimer’s advocate or an organization volunteer.

Follow the organization on Twitter to stay apprised of ways to participate this month.

For its part, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has several events planned for the month including: a virtual music performance; virtual yoga class; an art series; a weekly “movement tip”; a webinar on dementia and sexuality; a webinar on avoiding elder fraud scams; a virtual community class on relaxing and refreshing; and a live virtual workshop on the effects of traumatic stress and race on Alzheimer’s disease.