Alzheimer’s is caused by a progressive loss of brain cells that leads to the degeneration of memory loss and the decline of other thinking skills and cognitive abilities. However, did you know that the progression of Alzheimer’s can be slowed down through changes in lifestyle? In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a family member or friend is most likely to notice the symptoms before anyone else.
Unfortunately, 2 out of 3 people globally have little or no understanding of Alzheimer’s in their countries and there is a great deal of stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s, more so in Asia. By raising awareness for Alzheimer’s, it will be easier to help make sure the real life needs and concerns of people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers are addressed.
There are many ways to make a difference during World Alzheimer’s Month. It is important to let others know that they are not alone in this. Here are 6 ways you can play your part to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and stay involved.
1. Participate in your local community events
World Alzheimer’s Month At Atria ADFM Community Corner – free
This September, Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) will be commemorating World Alzheimer’s Month 2019 at Atria ADFM Community Corner (AADC). AADC is a joint community initiative of the Atria Shopping Gallery under its CSR programme in collaboration with ADFM. Located on the 3rd floor, AADC opens daily from 11am to 7pm and hosts activities, talks and wellbeing sessions for free. Here is the list of activities hosted by AADC:
- Elderly yoga session – Every Sunday morning
- Health, wellbeing and nutrition talks – Every Saturday afternoon
- Caregivers Sharing Sessions – Once a month
- Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, art & crafts – Weekdays from 4-6pm
Find the full schedule here.
Atria ADFM Community Corner,
Lot T03, Atria Shopping Gallery,
Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact number: 010-361 9125
World Alzheimer’s Month Film Screening: Ninaivirukkum Varai (Till The Last Memory) – free
With the rising number of young caregivers in the country who are beginning their journey in caring for their loved ones with dementia, it is important that we as a community understand the impact of caregiving on families, and how to best help them in their journey.
Hosted by Project We Forgot (PWF) and Homage, this film screening will be followed by a post-show dialogue that highlights the rising prevalence of dementia in Malaysia and its’ impact on family caregivers.
PWF is a community of support for caregivers to persons with dementia, providing locally-relevant support, knowledge and access to services. Homage Malaysia is a tech-enabled platform providing on-demand home caregiving services for seniors as they age in place in the comfort of their home.
Secure your spot for free here.
September 26, 2019 from 6.30pm – 8.30pm
WeWork Equatorial Plaza,
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur 50250
2. Wear purple, the official color of Alzheimer’s
Purple is the official colour of the Alzheimer’s movement. This September, show your support for the causes by wearing all shades of purple to not just help raise awareness, but also to honour millions of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and the millions more who selflessly care for them. The more people know about Alzheimer’s, the more action we inspire!
3. Share your Alzheimer’s story on social media
With so many individuals with Alzheimer’s globally, many caregivers have untold stories on how it has impacted us. Help raise awareness and reach out to the lives of others simply by speaking out and sharing your story. Whether it’s sharing a personal story of your own or encouraging others to join the cause on social media or just casually with friends, there are so many opportunities to spread the word. We are not alone, especially when we come together to support one another. Sparking conversations can lead to informal education for our friends and family and break the stigma that comes with the condition, especially in an Asian setting.
You can follow Alzheimer’s Disease International on Facebook for the latest updates on Alzheimer’s.
4. Watch movies about Alzheimer’s
Most people are aware about Alzheimer’s but they harbour many misconceptions about the condition, like it is the end of the road for those who have it . Thankfully, more people in the media are highlighting Alzheimer’s and trying to communicate its trials and difficulties through the medium of film. Whether you’re looking for hope, or the reassurance that someone out there knows how you’re feeling, here are 5 films featuring dementia that we know you’ll appreciate:
- Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
- Still Alice
- Robot & Frank
- Alive Inside
- Memories Of Tomorrow
5. Support the caregivers in your life
If you aren’t a caregiver yourself, chances are you know someone who is a devoted one. This month, go out of your way to show your support and gratitude. Ask how you can better support them as they provide emotional and physical care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. Bring a meal, a coffee, or simply send a card showing that you care.
6. Visit your loved ones fighting Alzheimer’s
Spend some extra time with your loved ones. In the early stages, they may need extra support as they deal with the emotional fears and doubts that comes with having Alzheimer’s . In-person visits are just as important for your loved ones in the later stages of Alzheimer’s for their overall well-being, and in being present, one can discover much more; not just to empathise with loved ones with Alzheimer’s but to also assure them that you are journeying together with them.
World Alzheimer’s Month is a time for people worldwide to be aware of and learn about Alzheimer’s. We can all take this opportunity to build an understanding about a health condition that will affect more and more people as the years pass, while encouraging crucial efforts to support those already affected by Alzheimer’s around the world.