June is now national Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Previously commemorated in September, this month is dedicated to increasing awareness of the millions of individuals throughout the world who are affected by dementia, as well as their family members.
If you see more purple this month when you are out and about, that is because this color is associated with Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association. Local chapters across the country are commemorating the month by wearing purple ribbons, posting purple icons on their social media accounts. Thousands of individuals will be sporting purple attire on Sunday, June 21. Known as The Longest Day®, it reminds us that the longest day of the year is what every day can feel like for an adult with Alzheimer’s and for their caregivers.
Today, approximately 47 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In the U.S., 5.3 million people live with Alzheimer’s, and the rate is growing, as someone develops the disease every 67 seconds. By the middle of the century, an estimated 16 million Americans will suffer from Alzheimer’s. In our state of California, 590,000 are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to rise by over 42% in just the next 10 years.
How can you help increase public awareness of this major U.S. health problem? You can start by educating yourself. The Alzheimer’s Association has just released its 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, and you can download the publication as a PDF.
You can also contact your local or state Alzheimer’s Association chapter to learn what advocacy activities are taking place in your area. Your recognition and support can help make a difference to everyone from policy makers and caregiving families.