June is now designated as national Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, the month is dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness of dementia and providing support and information to families and other caregivers.
This Sunday, June 21, is known as The Longest Day®. It represents both literally the longest day of the year and the sense that every day can feel like the longest for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their family caregivers. Thousands of people around the country will be wearing purple to show solidarity with others in the struggle.
An estimated 47 million people around the world are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Of these, over 5 million live in the United States. Every 67 seconds, someone develops the disease, and the rate is going. By 2050, approximately 16 million Americans will be dealing with this disease, due to the aging of the baby boomer generation.
Increasing public awareness and understanding of this health crisis begins with you. Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders. The Alzheimer’s Association has just published its 2014 edition of Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, which can be downloaded here.
The Alzheimer’s Association reminds us: If you have a brain, you are at risk. We are all in this together. As with mental illness and other brain disorders, your recognition and support of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can make a real difference.