September is World Alzheimer’s Month; Sept. 21 is Alzheimer’s Day

Alzheimer's Disease International works with associations, caregivers in 120 countries as part of the observance

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by Mary Chapman |

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Every September, during World Alzheimer’s Month, supporters around the world call attention to Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in an effort to challenge stereotypes about the conditions. World Alzheimer’s Day is Sept. 21.

More than 50 million people globally are thought to be living with dementia, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), which coordinates the event. During the month, the organization supports and works with Alzheimer’s and dementia associations in 120 countries, along with patient caregivers and other organizations.

“During World Alzheimer’s Month, we call on everyone, from individuals to large organizations, including every Alzheimer and dementia association globally, to support World Alzheimer’s Month by getting involved in some way,” ADI states on an event webpage.

This year’s theme, “Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s,” builds on last year’s campaign, which focused on issues such as diagnosis, dementia warning signs, and the ongoing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the international dementia community.

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This year’s effort will also focus on the importance of supporting patients and families after an Alzheimer’s or other dementia diagnosis. The organization will also emphasize the role stigma plays in misconceptions about dementia.

“Throughout this September, we will continue to empower more people to join our movement under the campaign message of ‘Together, we can do so much,” the organization states. “… By continuing to raise global awareness and knowledge, people, families, communities, and governments are better armed with information and advice to prepare, adapt, and support those who are most affected.”

All over the world, many organizations are holding fundraisers and hosting memory walks as part of efforts to raise awareness.

ADI will offer a number ways to participate in World Alzheimer’s Month, from sharing social media messages to getting involved in a local Alzheimer’s or dementia association’s activities, to making a donation.

The organization has made available a toolkit in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese that includes social media cards and posters, a dementia fact sheet, key messages, tips about fundraising, virtual events, how to organize a media event, and how to ask for famous landmarks to be illuminated in purple to mark World Alzheimer’s Month.

Participation ideas include hosting or presenting a virtual quiz, a race day, birthday fundraiser, a virtual memory walk, or “coffee morning,” where the cost of a favorite beverage can be donated to an Alzheimer’s or dementia organization.

Since 2009, ADI has released a World Alzheimer Report on World Alzheimer’s Day and will again on Sept. 21. The reports, which make recommendations for policy and practice, are sources of information on dementia. For this year, the report will provide a global view of post-diagnosis care models, impediments, and best practices through essays, case studies, and shared global experiences.

In the U.K., the Alzheimer’s Society is marking the month and day by sharing offerings of support for people following a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and by providing ways to participate, including posting to social media using the hashtag #WorldAlzheimersMonth, volunteering at a Memory Walk, or taking part in a fundraising event.

The Dementia Change Action Network in the U.K. is calling attention to the ADI’s upcoming report and event offerings, as well as the Alzheimer’s Society’s activities.

Founded in 1984, ADI seeks to support Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients and to conduct awareness campaigns and educate people about policies.