About 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, making it the most common form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
There is no cure for the progressive brain disease that causes problems with memory, behavior and thinking, but scientists are continually making advances in efforts to slow the disease, catch it early or prevent it altogether.
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. It’s a great time to position your agency to be an advocate for those with the disease and their caregivers.
- Visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website for this health observance to get started. You’ll find ways to Go Purple this June to show your support, and ways to take action, including participating in The Longest Day on June 21.
- Stock up on personalized Alzheimer’s disease brochures versioned to home health, private duty or hospice and distribute them at events throughout the month to educate about the condition and how you can help. Consider enhancing the tools you currently use to educate patients and their families about this condition with a comprehensive patient education guide.
- Donate board games or puzzle books to local assisted living facilities that contain your company’s logo and contact information. Sponsor a game night and spend time with the seniors in the facilities talking about the importance of enriching senior brain power.
- Partner with non-competing providers and organize a Caregiver Appreciation Day for the family, friends and others who care for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Include discussions, activities, refreshments and even massages for this selfless group. Offer free or reduced cost respite care for attendees who need it.
- Begin an effort to create a cookbook based on the recipes of your agency’s Alzheimer’s patients. Encourage the patients or their family members to write down the patient’s most loved recipes. When you have a few dozen, compile a recipe book to honor their legacies and their culinary contributions. Print out and distribute the books in your market or sell them and donate the money raised to the Alzheimer’s Association. Be sure to let the media know about your efforts during the collection process and when it is finished.
- Sponsor a lunch at a local neurologist’s or gerontologist’s office to introduce your company’s services. Ask to place the physician on a local speaker’s event in order to begin networking his practice. Most specialists of this nature are stand-alone physicians or members of small medical groups and would love the community exposure a speaking engagement would bring.
- Download and print out the Alzheimer’s Association’s list of the 10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s. Distribute this at senior centers, places of worship, and ALFs. The agency also has a great online Alzheimer’s facts page.
- Review the toolkits offered by Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles, the Alzheimer’s Association, ACT on Alzheimer’s and Delaware’s Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. These provide a wealth of information on the condition, ways to educate your community, and more.