The month of November is dedicated to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive and complex neurodegenerative disorder that affects memory, behavior, thinking and language skills. The impact that Alzheimer’s has is devastating, not only on the 6.2 million+ Americans living with it, but also on their families and caregivers, as the serious memory loss, confusion, and the inability to carry out simple tasks can significantly impact daily functioning and independence. This month, we encourage you to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and how you can help support those affected by it.
Alzheimer’s Signs & Symptoms
While the appearance of each sign and symptom may vary from person to person, the most common warning signs of Alzheimer’s include:
- Confusion about the time, place, or where they are.
- Changes in mood, behavior, and personality.
- Difficulty in judging situations or circumstances.
- Trouble forming complete sentences or finding the appropriate words to communicate a specific idea or thought.
- Memory loss around recent events, names, places, and the inability to hold new information (learning issues).
- Inability to complete familiar tasks like keeping up one’s hygiene, wearing proper clothing for the day/season/occasion, or performing more complex tasks like paying bills or cooking dinner.
*If you’d like to learn more about the symptoms that present at each stage of Alzheimer’s disease (Mild, Moderate, Severe), you can find them here.
Get Virtual Memory Screenings Done!
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, such as forgetting words/misplacing objects, forgetting something you’ve just read, or repeating the same question over and over, then a Virtual Memory Screening is one of the first steps to take. Memory impairment can be caused by several medical conditions, so early detection and diagnosis is critical in obtaining the proper treatment and care.
What You Can Do to Raise Awareness – Go Teal!
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) encourages you to “go teal” to show your support for the millions of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s. The significance of the color teal represents calm, comfort, and acceptance to those living with Alzheimer’s and can help make spaces and events more welcoming to them. There are a number of ways you can “go teal”:
- Dress up in teal clothing and accessories to show your support and begin conversations around the topic to those who may be unaware. From t-shirts, to bracelets, to pins and scarves – there are plenty of ways to join in and make a statement. If joining in on conversations online, don’t forget to use the hashtag #WhyIGoTeal.
- Update your social media profile photos to include teal colors, or use your profiles to share informational graphics like these: Facts About Alzheimer’s, and 10 Steps for Healthy Aging. When changing your photos or sharing graphics, don’t forget to use hashtags like: #WhyIGoTeal & #AlzheimersAwarenessMonth to help educate others about Alzheimer’s and the month of November.
- Light up your home or office with teal lights. On November 3rd, more than 800 monuments, structures, campuses, airports, city halls, arenas, banks, and clinics will be going teal this November. Join in on the “Lighting The World In Teal” event, by lighting up your office building or home with teal lights, registering your building here, and then joining in with the #AFALightTheWorldInTeal hashtag online.
Participate In Live Webinars
In addition to “going teal” consider participating in live, interactive webinars hosted by the AFA. These virtual events are centered around educating individuals on Alzheimer’s, and can bring more understanding to the unique challenges that those living with Alzheimer’s face. A few examples of these include:
- On Nov 1st, you can learn all about “Why Do They Do That” which is designed to help attendees understand why those with Alzheimer’s sometimes do or say things that are unexpected.
- On Nov 10th, there is a webinar on person-centered solutions for those who are caregivers to those with Alzheimer’s. It’s called, “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants and Other Helpful Coping Strategies”.
- On Nov 16th, there is a live interactive professional training on “Understanding the Path of Those Who Wander,” which is a workshop designed to allow attendees to “walk in the shoes” of someone with Alzheimer’s who wanders.
Visit the AFA’s website for more information on all the live webinars being offered, and additional ways to participate in Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
We can all do our part to raise awareness and show support for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease – whether it’s through “going teal,” supporting research studies, or simply starting a conversation about the disease. Let’s come together to fight Alzheimer’s this November, and all year round.