June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
June is chosen as an opportunity to observe and spread the word about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In June, the Alzheimer’s Association encourages people around the world to wear purple and show support to fight this debilitating disease.
The History of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness:
Signs of people with dementia predates its naming. As early as 2000 B.C., ancient Egyptians cited awareness of mental issues with the elderly.
In the second century A.D., Turkish doctor Aretheus categorized dementia and delirium together. Unaware, then that delirium is a reversible (acute) disorder of cognitive function while dementia is irreversible.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, government rule led to theocracy (rule in the name of God) during the Middle Ages. As such, dementia was thus regarded as a punishment from God for sins committed, and people with dementia were thought to be possessed by demons. It’s hard to believe that they were also victims of witch hunts.
The term, “Alzheimer’s”
Of Latin origin: ‘de’ meaning loss or deprivation, ‘ment’ meaning mind, and ‘ia’ indicating a state. So, ‘dementia’ means ‘loss of the state of the mind.’ In 1910. Alzheimer’s disease was named after Alois Alzheimer by his senior colleague, psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin who termed ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ in his book Psychiatrie.
The Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association was established in 1980 with Jerome H. Stone as the founding president.
The observance of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month was initiated in 1983 by President Ronald Regan in the recognition of the diseases and awareness of how to help.
The FDA-approved drug, tacrine (Cognex), was approved in 1993. as the first drug to target Alzheimer’s symptoms. Now, we are making strides.
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
We celebrate Alzheimer’s disease another time of year, too – November. November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s awareness is highlighted then, and walks take place to support the more than 6 million Americans suffering from it.
Public health officials have many opportunities to address the issues surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. They include:
- Addressing the risk factors for vulnerable populations.
- Recognizing early detection and diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and dementia .
- Improving the safety and quality of life for people with dementia.
- Providing better support to caregivers.
As the population of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia grows, the need for caregiving grows. All too often caregivers’ health, well-being and productivity suffers greatly. Caregiving can consume long periods of care, and caregivers’ physical and mental health deteriorates. This results in caregivers needing support, too.
Sometimes, they must reduce the number of hours worked in employment or take leave from their employment altogether. It can also drain their personal resources and finances to help their loved ones. Their personal, family, and social life suffer as well.
Today, more than 1 in every 5 adults in the United States are unpaid caregivers who provide substantial services through in-home, unpaid assistance to their family members and friends. For more information click to alz.org.
What Can Rent A Daughter Do to Help?
Caregivers are often tasked with personal care, transportation, shopping, household management, medication and healthcare management, and coordination of financial matters.
That’s quite a lot for family members without professional training. To assist them, Rent A Daughter is available 4 hours episodically — or up to 24 hours, 7 days a week, or any combination in between. Rent A Daughter provides flexibility to ensure our clients and their families have the support they need to remain at their maximum level of independence. We also provide a once-a-week check-in if that’s all needed.
Our staff are vetted, STNA, CPR and first aid trained.
These services can’t be overstated on what relief they bring to the caregivers. For short times, they gain their lives back, regain strength, and renew their spirit so they can continue to help where needed.
June is the month to observe and spread the word about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Wear purple and show support to fight this debilitating disease.