June is upon us, and with the month of the summer solstice comes Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month! It’s the perfect time to get involved in the fight to end this horrific disease, and here are a few ways to do just that.
Know the Facts
Learn about Alzheimer’s and then help educate others!
- Dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms that may accompany or indicate certain diseases or conditions. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. Other types include Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and mixed dementia.
- Memory loss is just one aspect of Alzheimer’s. The disease also results in problems with executive function, spacial relationships, communication, and judgment. Other symptoms include anxiety, withdrawal, apathy, depression, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions.
- Every 66 seconds, an American develops Alzheimer’s disease.
- 4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Of those, at least 200,000 are under age 65.
- Alzheimer’s takes more lives than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, yet research is still grossly underfunded.
- Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only one that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.
- In 2015, 15.9 million family and friends provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Volunteer Your Time
Give of your time! Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter to find out how you can get involved. If that isn’t in your wheelhouse, reach out to a nearby memory care community. I promise that what you give will come back to you tenfold (and then some!) every single time. No special talents needed. If you’re capable of sitting and holding someone’s hand, you’re qualified!!
Let Your Voice Be Heard
Add your voice to the growing movement calling for an Alzheimer’s semipostal (fundraising) stamp. Take just a moment to encourage the Postmaster General to move forward with a stamp that could raise millions of dollars for Alzheimer’s disease research. The breast cancer stamp has raised over $83 million since its inception! Click the following link to add your encouragement: https://www.uspsoig.gov/blog/putting-stamp-good-causes
You can also reach out to your elected officials, asking them to support increased funding for Alzheimer’s. Consider writing or calling to share your personal story; there’s no better way to underscore just how important an issue is than to put a human face on it. You have the power to do that. If you aren’t sure how to reach your officials, these sites will help:
Do you know someone caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? Bring them dinner or offer to provide a couple of hours of respite care so they can have a break to do something they enjoy. Drop off some fresh cut flowers or mow their yard. Small acts of kindness go a long way in letting someone know they aren’t alone.
Likewise, if you have a friend or family member living with dementia, please take time to visit them – no matter what stage they are in. Remember that these are living, breathing human beings who need human contact and love as much as you and I. Even if they can’t communicate, they will feel your energy; even if they don’t recognize you, they will relish the company.
Make a Monetary Contribution
Marilyn’s Legacy: A World Without Alzheimer’s is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ending Alzheimer’s and supporting and advocating for family caregivers. Marilyn’s Legacy was borne of a desire to honor my mom’s life and ensure that her battle with this disease was not in vain.
We are partnering with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, two non-profits that are recognized leaders in this space. It is very important to us that every dollar raised goes directly to the mission rather than salaries and other operational expenses. The founders of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the board of directors of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund cover every dime of overhead ensuring that 100% of your contribution furthers the fight to END ALZHEIMER’S! When you support Marilyn’s Legacy, you can feel confident that the funds donated are being spent wisely.
To make a tax-deductible contribution, visit our donation page.
Join the Brain Health Registry
The Brain Health Registry is an easy way to contribute to research from the comfort of your home. Participants sign up on a website and complete several questionnaires regarding medical history, lifestyle, and current health.
Once the questionnaires are finished, participants are invited to complete a series of tests that might be likened to brain games. Each activity takes just a few minutes. At 3-6 month intervals, registry members receive email reminders to come back and complete additional activities. The hope is that people will continue to be involved for many years, as the longevity of participation helps researchers understand how our brains change over time.
The researchers behind the Brain Health Registry aspire to use the program to build out a pool, or registry, of potential clinical trial enrollees. The hope is that by collecting data on participants in this fashion, the right people can be assigned to studies faster, ultimately accelerating trials.
To join the Brain Health Registry, visit: http://www.brainhealthregistry.org/
Share This Post
Last but not least, share this post. Shout your message from the rooftops! Encourage your personal network to help #endalz! Remember that our collective voice is bold, powerful, and impossible to ignore. Together we can move our agenda forward and realize a world without Alzheimer’s!