Advocates nationwide are gearing up to participate in activities around Alzheimer’s Action Day on September 21, a pre-event to World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in November. As the facts demonstrate, the need for education and action around this disease is great. A form of progressive dementia that adversely impacts memory, thinking and behavior, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and there is no cure.
To build support and increase visibility, the Alzheimer’s Association leverages Alzheimer’s Action Day to educate the public and fund research for Alzheimer’s, urging individuals to “Go Purple to End Alzheimer’s.” The association empowers supporters to raise money for Alzheimer’s research with the following creative ideas that can be used in the workplace, at school or at home:
- Go purple at your office or campus by encouraging your co-workers or your peers to wear purple.
- Decorate common areas at your workplace or school with purple. Share the latest stats and trends about the disease, like the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s. Call (800) 272-3900 to request fact sheets.
- Go “Casual for the Cause” at work. Order $5 stickers from the association that you can then sell in your office to raise funds. Download a flier here and e-mail Kaarmin Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org for stickers.
- Host a dinner party at your home and ask each attendee to donate what they would have spent going out. Click here to download meal ideas that can be used at home or in the cafeteria.
- Invite your friends to Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer’s starting this month. Supporters who host these purple-themed tailgates can ask participants to donate $5 to help the 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s.
Over the past decade, Alzheimer’s has become an even more urgent public health crisis, demanding greater attention from both a patient care and cost-savings standpoint:
- Five million Americans and one in three seniors live with Alzheimer’s.
- Since 2000, the number of deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s has increased by 68 percent.
- The disease accounts for 50-80 percent of all dementia cases.
- Alzheimer’s will cost the nation an estimated $203 billion this year.
- Costs are expected to increase by 500 percent by the year 2050, meaning that the annual cost will swell to $1.2 trillion.
The Alzheimer’s Association is collaborating with partners from around the country to help communities “Go Purple.” These include the Las Vegas CME – Medical and Health Education for All, the California Association of School Health Educators (CASHE) and Cox 11, a community station in Hampton Roads, VA, which are all spreading the word about ways to get involved at the local level. Ruby Tuesday will also raise awareness for Alzheimer’s Action Day at select locations, giving 20 percent of purchases to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s when customers present a flyer to their server on September 21.
“Supporting Alzheimer’s Association specifically on Alzheimer’s Action Day will help generate much needed awareness about this disease and what we can do as a community to support families with this disease on a daily basis,” a Ruby Tuesday spokeswoman said. “With the GiveBack Program specifically, we hope to raise funds within the communities of our restaurant that will directly contribute to research and ultimately find a cure for Alzheimer’s.”
What are you doing in your community to educate colleagues, peers, family and others about this disease? How can other stakeholders – including health systems and government – get more involved and join in efforts to raise awareness around the impact of Alzheimer’s year-round?