The National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and Alzheimer’s Association released a report this month focusing on the stigma associated with the disease.
“It’s very important to know that Alzheimer’s is not just a normal part of aging,” said Kay Redington, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Association Central and North Florida Chapter. “It’s not just everybody’s going to get Alzheimer’s if you get old enough. It is a progressive, degenerative, fatal brain disease.”
Redington said the World Alzheimer Report focused on issues reported by both patients and caregivers.
“People felt they were treated differently on the basis of their dementia,” she said. “In the early stages of this disease that most people were in, people can take part in virtually all the same activities that they had done before.”
Redington added that there is a new resource for people dealing with the disease: a new social media initiative called ALZConnected.
“It was set up as a social media interaction network for people who were in the early stages of the disease so they can connect with people in other early stages of the disease, talk about what they were experiencing — almost as a support group mechanism,” she said.
Reddington said in addition to an awareness day, World Alzheimer’s Month in North Central Florida is continuing to be a success. Redington said the next step in Alzheimer’s awareness is the Alzheimer’s National Plan, which she hopes will be enacted over the following months.
Emily Miller edited this story online.