November 4, 2012
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
It’s hard to believe, but November is here and so is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month first came to being in 1983. During that year, less than two million Americans had Alzheimer’s. The number of people suffering the disease has since skyrocketed, with almost 5.4 million people who have been diagnosed with the disease today. The folks of the Alzheimer’s Association hope that people will take this month to get involved and help raise awareness about the disease. President Barack Obama also took time to make a presidential proclamation regarding National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
“Every day, families across our country confront the tragic realities of Alzheimer’s disease — an irreversible, fatal illness that robs men and women of their cherished memories and leads to progressive mental and physical impairments. Millions of individuals suffer from this debilitating ailment, and millions more shoulder profound emotional and financial burdens by serving as caregivers for their loved ones. As the number of older Americans grows in the coming years, Alzheimer’s disease will continue to pose serious risks to our well-being — which is why it is essential we join together to address it today,” stated President Obama in the proclamation. “During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we stand with all those who have known the pain of this devastating illness, extend our support to Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and press on toward promising new treatments.”
During November, people can work to bring awareness to the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association offers online resources for families who are working through a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. In particular, the organization provides ideas on how to dialogue about the difficulty of driving while also suffering from Alzheimer’s. Three is also list of videos, tips, evaluation specialists, and example contracts on the issue regarding dementia and driving.
As well, the Alzheimer’s Association provides a number of ways in which individuals can get involved. For one, people can volunteer as an advocate or volunteer with a chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. As an advocate, an individual can promote the needs and rights of those with Alzheimer’s disease. This is especially beneficial in bringing awareness to families whose parents or grandparents may suffer from Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association also offers a variety of volunteer opportunities depending on a person’s skills and interests. People can help out at the organization’s local chapters or participate in a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s research. Currently, the Alzheimer’s Association’s research component is conducting over 100 research studies regarding Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias. Clinical trials are important in this sense that they help drive medical progress forward. Researchers are able to test innovative ways to detect, treat, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias through the various clinical trials. The organization cites difficulties in recruiting and retaining trial participants in the task of researching new treatments for Alzheimer’s. The trials recruit health volunteers as well as volunteers with Alzheimer’s.
Lastly, individuals can also donate financially by participating in a fundraiser, planning an event to raise money, or by making an individual donation. Funds can help continue outreach on Alzheimer’s issue as well as fund research on Alzheimer’s disease. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association online to learn more.
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