This September is the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month! It is an international campaign, started in 2012 by the Alzheimer’s Disease International, that is aiming to raise awareness of the disease and to challenge the stigma surrounding dementia. It’s meant to unite opinion leaders, people living with dementia, caregivers and families, medical professionals, researchers, and the media from all over the world.
The Alzheimer’s Disease International is based in London, England, however it is the international federation for Alzheimer’s Associations all across the world. You can see a full list of all the countries here. In addition, they have been in official relations with the World Health Organization since 1996, and collaborated to create ‘Help for Caregivers’ booklet’ which contains practical tips on how to care for a person with dementia. They are renowned for believing that winning the fight against dementia takes a combination of research, development, education, and advocacy at local and global platforms.
This month, the federation is asking that everyone participate in events and activities that will shed light on Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and that will help to minimize the negative connotations associated with it. Below, we’ve listed some of the suggestions from Alzheimer’s Disease International and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada that you can use and share with your friends to help make this month a success!
There is no doubt social media is one of the easiest ways to get involved, especially if you already have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat account. The next time you’re online, try out any of these:
Share a Message
An interactive part of Alzheimer’s Disease International’s campaign for World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is “Sharing a Message”. What they’d like you to do is write a message about dementia on a post-it note. It could be informative, like the one shown here, or it could be a special memory you have of your loved one. Take a photo of that note and then post it to your Twitter or Facebook account using the hashtags “#RememberMe” or “#WAM2016”. You might even see your message on their site or their twitter: @AlzDisInt!
Make a Video
Twitter user Marianne (@Jacobsmga1) from the Netherlands has already got a head start on promoting Alzheimer’s Month to her followers! Both her mother and grandmother have unfortunately been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so it’s not surprising she’s put together this video urging others to raise awareness. It is short and simple but gets the point across. Check out her video here and then why not enlist the help of your friends and family to make your own? If you do – please use the hashtags #RememberMe and #WAM2016.
Is there someone in your life with Alzheimer’s? What is their life story? How is it affecting you and your family? Is there a special moment you share with them that makes you happy?
Recently, one son’s video with his father went viral and helped to raise £50,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK! Simon’s father, Teddy, has Alzheimer’s disease and often doesn’t even recognize his family. He used to be a singer when he was younger, so while they’re driving around Simon records them performing their ‘car-karaoke’. These moments are too special to keep to himself, so Simon shares them on Facebook and has nearly 3,000,000 views on their rendition of ‘Quando, Quando, Quando’.
If you don’t want to make a video you can create a post. Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden took to Facebook and poured her heart out about her relationship with her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. The post has since been shared more than 6,800 times, has over 31,000 likes and 35,000 comments.
Educate Your Followers
Another idea could be posting a “fact-a-day” about Alzheimer’s or other dementias. There is plenty of information online for you to share. Visit any of these websites to find articles that will inspire you to share the knowledge:
The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada’s “#CoffeeBreak” is a major nationwide annual fundraiser where friends, co-workers, and customers gather in communities across Canada to raise funds for local Alzheimer Societies. At the events, hosted by individuals or organizations, participants will make a donation in exchange for a cup of coffee (or any other beverage or refreshment you want to provide at your event).
If you want to host a #CoffeeBreak at your work, community centre or any other location, all you have to do is visit this website and fill-out the form. Alternatively, you can contact your local Alzheimer’s Society directly. The kick-off for these events is on September 15th and will continue into October.
The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada suggests that you ‘perk up’ your #CoffeeBreak by trying out these tips:
- Partner with a group, organization or business
- Spread the word about your #CoffeeBreak by creating an event on Facebook
- Ask a local restaurant to donate a portion of their tea, pop, or coffee sales for the day
- Host a garage sale where all the proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Society (you can also sell lemonade, pop, or other beverages to your patrons!)
- Ask friends to bake some goodies for your #CoffeeBreak to sell
- Organize a dress-down day at work where co-workers pay $1 or $2 to dress casually
If you know of any other ways to get involved this September, please feel free to visit our Facebook page and share them with us and our followers! We would most definitely love to hear from you. Keep in mind, September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Day! If there’s any day that you participate, please make it that one!
Does your loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s? Are you struggling to care for them yourselves? At Home Instead, our specially trained CAREGivers attend courses that have been developed with experts from the field. These classes equip our CAREGivers with the skills and knowledge they need to expertly manage and reduce specific behaviours. If you want to learn more about our Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care please call our office in Mississauga at (905) 276-2273. You can also book a free, no-obligations consultation to see if Home Instead is right for your family.
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