We are wearing purple today in support of Alzheimer’s Action Day. Are you?
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative and terminal disease that most commonly effects people over the age of 65. Alzheimer’s can also effect younger people in what is called “Early Onset Alzheimer’s.” There are currently more than 36 million people affected by dementia worldwide. 1 in 85 people globally are predicted to be affected by this incurable disease by 2050.
The first signs of Alzheimer’s usually include the loss of short term memory, confusion, mood swings, aggression, difficulty with language and withdrawal from life in general. Many of these symptoms are associated with the normal process of aging, which makes it difficult to diagnose in its early stages. Alzheimer’s sufferers gradually lose various bodily functions, which ultimately leads to death. Most patients die within 7 years of being diagnosed.
Despite the frightening statistics, there are many Alzheimer’s patients who are still thoughtful, productive members of society. One such person is Norm Mac. Norm was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 50. He blogs and writes poetry to share his experiences and feelings. You can follow his blog at http://norrms.web.officelive.com/ . He has also published an book called MORE THAN WORDS Poems written and spoken by an Alzheimer’s Sufferer .
In addition to the wonderful poetry in his book, Norm has this to say about his disease. “People who have the illness of ‘Dementia’ have a saying, When you know a person who has dementia, you only know one person that has dementia’, since it’s a condition that can affect people in so many different ways through its course of decline… Hence I decided to write these poems not only to show that someone who has this awful disease can still put words and feelings into print but also to hopefully help others in the future, sufferers, loved ones and professionals understand this horrid illness a little better, and at the same time broaden its awareness and the many implications of this catastrophic illness to families and other people that could fall foul of dementia.”
To bring attention to this widespread and incurable disease, the Alzheimer’s Association has chosen September 21st as World Alzheimer’s Day and asks everyone to wear purple to show their support for the search to find a cure. The Alzheimer’s Association has a free logo, available for download, that you can use as your profile picture on facebook to show your support. You can visit their website at www.alz.org to download the file. You can also read the stories of the afflicted and the heroes who have done amazing things in spite of, or because of this disease. There is also a contest running for the entire month of September for artists around the world to design an Alzheimer’s awareness- T-shirt. There are some beautiful designs. You can vote for your favorite by visiting Threadless.com.
With perseverance, support and most of all hope, a cure can and will be found. Please spread the word. September 21st is a purple day! How are you creating awareness? Share with us below or on our Caregiver Forum.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior who could benefit from our vast array of home care services in the Fairfax area , please call us at 703.750.6644, or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff of trained and certified home care personnel covering the Fairfax County, Virginia area.
 Brookmeyer, R; Johnson, E; Ziegler-Graham, K; Arrighi, HM (July 2007). “Forecasting the global burden of Alzheimer’s disease”. Alzheimer’s and Dementia 3 (3): 186–91.doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2007.04.381. PMID 19595937.