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Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Blog by: Pansy Walker , Medicaid Programs Coordinator
The Month of November is known as Alzheimer's Awareness Month. Former President Ronald Reagan made November the designated month in 1983 and it is still recognized today. During November, there are many observances that include fundraisers, tips for healthy aging, Alzheimer's information that is now downloadable, “memory walks,” and so much information and resources for caregivers. Please note the resources listed below for more information on where to find information and what you can do to be a part of Alzheimer's Awareness Month. There are many stages to Alzheimer's and there are current treatments to focus on maintaining the mental function, behavioral actions and ways to slow or delay the progression of the disease.
While we acknowledge that Alzheimer's affects more that 5 million Americans, it is also important to acknowledge the affects it has on the caregivers. “Caregiver Burnout” is a “state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude from positive caring to frustrated and exhaustive caring. There are five signs of Caregiver Burnout:
1. Exhaustion- physical and emotional exhaustion-feeling tired physically or depressed mentally
2. Changes in sleep, appetite and weight
3. Increased Stress
4. Having “the Blues”
5. Lack of interest in work, hobbies or family.
Caregiving is fulfilling, demanding, and labor stressed. And though a caregiver believes they can do all, it is difficult for a caregiver to step back and realize they need assistance. When a caregivers is focused on others or someone else the phrase—“you can't take care of someone, if you cannot take care of yourself”. Asking for assistance and getting the assistance you need is the first step.
So while we acknowledge that November is Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, let us not forget the men and women who continue to walk, fundraise, support, lobby and care for our family and friends who live every day with this disease and also care for someone who has Alzheimer's.
If you would like more information on Alzheimer's Disease, please look below: [Image: Purple background with the words November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. A purple ribbon with the words written on the ribbon Awareness Matters.]