In June, you may have seen people in Cincinnati wearing a lot of purple. Wonder why?
June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, an annual movement to raise funding for dementia and brain research, sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association.
The Alzheimer's Association and families touched by the disease encourage Americans to #GoPurple to find a cure for and finally end the threat of Alzheimer's dementia.
But June is over, so what about the rest of the year? The need for more funding for critical dementia and neurological research doesn't stop there.
Is there a cure for Alzheimer's dementia?
No. At present, there are no known ways to cure, or even halt, the progress of Alzheimer's or other dementias.
Memory care, including the residential memory care we offer here in Cincinnati at Marjorie P. Lee, can sometimes help to slow the progression of memory loss and cognitive dysfunction, but it doesn't always work for every patient. Some memory care methods work for some patients, but not for others.
What hope does a senior living in Cincinnati with dementia have? The hope that a cure will one day be found.
Every year, science comes closer to unlocking information about the brain — when various forms of dementia begin, what factors cause them, how they progress, what can slow them down — that could eventually lead us to more effective treatments.
So, what can we do? We can help to rally the troops. Here are several ways you can help, at any time of year.
1. Host a dementia research fundraiser.
They're scalable. They can be big events or small. They can raise a little money, or a lot. Anything helps, as long as the resources get to the folks who are searching for the cure.
Try hosting a dinner party and charging a cover. Plan a community picnic, or a music festival at a local venue.
Ask local businesses if they would be interested in helping you to produce a fundraiser, in exchange for promotional considerations and the tax write-off they would get. It doesn't have to be anything super involved, and you'll likely find others in the Tristate who would love a chance to get involved.
Teams from all over our organization, including right here at Marjorie P. Lee, will be raising money and awareness by joining the Walk To End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 6. ERS is sponsor of this important event that raises more than $1.1 million for research to find a cure.
2. Make a small gesture.
Save your change for a year and donate it all at tax time. Or donate a portion of your tax refund.
Have a garage sale, or a kid's lemonade stand, and give the proceeds to the Alzheimer's Association (or another non-profit, reputable dementia research advocacy organization).
Put $10 a week back out of your paycheck — even $5 or a $1 a week is better than nothing. Again, the amount you raise isn't the most important issue at hand. Every bit helps.
3. #GoPurple and tell people why.
Wear purple head-to-toe for a week and let folks know why you're doing it. Talk up the #ENDALZ movement on your social media profiles. Talk to others.
Raising awareness instead of funds is beneficial, too. Why?
Because the more people are aware of the disease's impact, and the more they encounter people whose lives have been affected by it, the more compassion they'll have and the more likely they will be to take up the cause.
This spring, ERS Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Mathias, left, with running partner and coworker MPL Administrator Stephanie Antoun ran for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati’s ALZ Stars Team/Race for The Brain in the Flying Pig Marathon for the pig’s 20-year anniversary. Maybe you can’t run a marathon, but you can do many things to spread the word in your corner of Cincinnati.
In the meantime, do you have questions about dementia or Alzheimer's disease?
Our Marjorie P. Lee memory care experts have put together a guidebook with answers that can help you.
Click here to download our Dementia Guidebook.
In it, you'll find answers about what dementia is, how it is currently treated, symptoms and warning signs to watch out for in your older loved ones, and resources to help you and your family cope with an Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis.
Won't you help our Marjorie P. Lee dementia care team and the Alzheimer's Association find a cure for dementia? #GoPurple to #ENDALZ today — and keep the movement alive all year long.