Events, Buildings in Teal Marking Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Alzheimer's Foundation of America, local groups encourage all to take part

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by Mary Chapman |

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An illustration of people putting their hands together in a show of support.

From sporting teal to getting a virtual memory screening, supporters across the U.S. are marking National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, observed each November, to call attention to the progressive neurodegenerative disorder and the 6.2 million people it’s thought to affect.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is offering a host of ways to participate, including by sharing facts about Alzheimer’s disease (AD), tips for healthy aging, and offering cover photos for social media.

The organization is also highlighting its toll-free helpline, 866-232-8484, which is open daily and staffed by social workers trained in dementia care.

The color that represents the AFA in its work — teal — is a central part of the organization’s awareness month campaign. On Nov. 3, more than 800 landmarks and other structures globally will be illuminated in that color to show support for patients and caregivers. Participation can include people donning something in teal, then sharing their photos on social media with the hashtag #WhyIGoTeal.

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AFA offering educational conferences, virtual memory screenings

The AFA is also offering free, confidential, one-on-one virtual memory screenings this month through its National Memory Screening Program. Each assessment, which takes up to 15 minutes, is conducted via videoconferencing by a qualified professional and consists of questions that test memory, language, thinking skills, and other cognitive functions. Sessions are by appointment only and require access to a computer, tablet or smartphone.

While such screenings — available in English and Spanish — do not result in diagnoses, they can indicate whether a person should consult with their physician for a more extensive assessment and possible early start on disease treatment.

In addition, the foundation is offering several awareness month virtual events, including:

  • Nov. 15, the AFA California Virtual Educational Conference, which will cover topics such as “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Future Directions for Treatment and Prevention,” “A Dementia Diagnosis, What Happens Next?” and “Estate Planning for Incapacity.” The event is from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. PT; 1 p.m.–3:30 p.m. ET.
  • Nov. 16, a live and interactive professional training workshop, “Understanding the Path of Those Who Wander,” aimed at helping people to understand physical “wandering” in someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It will be held from 1–3 p.m. ET and costs $25.
  • Nov. 22, an AFA educational conference is running in Washington, D.C., from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. ET that will include topics such as “Preserving Brain Health with Aging,” “Legal and Financial Issues for the Alzheimer’s Patient,” and “Trends and Disparities in Risk and Diagnosis of Dementia.”
  • The live and interactive webinar “Flying by the Seat of Our Pants and Other Helpful Coping Strategies” aims to help caregivers and offers tips for self-care. This event is  being rescheduled, and its date and timing will be announced.

Elsewhere, states such as Alaska have officially proclaimed November to be Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, as have cities that include Laredo, Texas. The White House also issued a proclamation.

Also in Texas, Remember for Me — an organization that supports Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in Hunt County — will hold its annual rally in their honor on Nov. 4.

Meanwhile, Alzheimer’s Tennessee is acknowledging the month by encouraging state residents to reach out to local Alzheimer’s patients. The organization promotes brain health through education and supports global efforts to prevent Alzheimer’s and to find better treatments through research.

“Alzheimer’s Tennessee is proud to support research around the country as well as clinical trials conducted here in the Volunteer State,” said Janice Wade-Whitehead, the organization’s president and CEO, on an awareness month webpage. “However, until there’s a cure, there is great need for care. We hope you will take the opportunity during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to offer your support to some of the 110,000 Tennesseans living with Alzheimer’s disease today.”