World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated on September 21 each year. On this day, the world concentrates its efforts on creating awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. The disease is among the most prevalent forms of dementia; a set of disorders that disrupt mental function. World Alzheimer’s Day is the perfect opportunity for us to raise our voices and find new ways of fighting the disease’s effects.
History of World Alzheimer’s Day
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects memory and impairs daily function. It is responsible for somewhere between 60% and 80% of dementia cases. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, was the first to identify the disease while treating a German woman in 1901. The disease was named after him.
The condition is often regarded as a family disease due to the impact it has on those closest to the victim. Alzheimer’s ranks among the leading causes of death in the United States. There are no prevention measures and it has no cure, even the progression of the disease cannot be slowed.
Founded in 1984, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is charged with supporting victims and conducting outreach to educate people and expedite related policies.
In 1994, ADI introduced World Alzheimer’s Day in Edinburgh during their annual conference on September 21 to mark their 10th anniversary. ADI coordinates World Alzheimer’s Day and World Alzheimer’s Month across the globe, working with member organizations and associations to organize events and create awareness.
The first ‘World Alzheimer Report’ was launched in 2009 on World Alzheimer’s Day and yearly reports have been issued every year since. Although the impact of the observance is spreading, the information gap and stigmatization concerning dementia remains an issue. Many people see the disease as a natural part of the aging process.
Granted, advancement in age is among the major causes of Alzheimer’s disease, but it isn’t completely an elderly disease. There are about 200,000 people under the age of 65 struggling with Alzheimer’s in the United States alone.
To mark this observance, concerned individuals and organizations can participate by creating awareness and reaching out to their nation’s Alzheimer’s association.
World Alzheimer’s Day timeline
Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, identifies the disease while treating a 50-year-old German woman.
ADI launches World Alzheimer’s Day in Edinburgh at their annual conference on September 21.
ADI issues the first ‘World Alzheimer Report.’
ADI declares September as World Alzheimer’s Month.
World Alzheimer’s Day FAQs
Why purple for Alzheimer’s?
Purple is a combination of blue and red: incorporating the stability of the former and the passionate energy of the latter.
Is dementia different from Alzheimer’s?
Dementia refers to general mental decline that interferes with daily functions. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that is concerned with memory loss.
Does Alzheimer’s affect eyesight?
People with Alzheimer’s often suffer from visual impairment. Studies have shown that many struggle with color vision and problems with the retina.
How to Celebrate World Alzheimer's Day
Share useful information about Alzheimer’s with friends and family or post on social media. Being well-informed on the disease is the first step towards coping with it.
Volunteer at your local Alzheimer’s association
Volunteer at your local Alzheimer’s association. Join a march or find a way to contribute to the activities marking this observance.
ADI encourages individuals and organizations to make donations. Your financial support can go a long way towards raising awareness and organizing events.
5 Facts About Alzheimer's That Will Blow Your Mind
Just over a minute
In the U.S., someone develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds.
Projections indicate that over 14 million people could have Alzheimer’s in the U.S. by 2050.
More than 18 billion hours of unpaid labor are spent on caregiving for dementia patients each year.
The Grim Reaper
Alzheimer's disease ranks as the United States’ sixth leading cause of death.
Over 200,000 Americans who are under the age of 65 suffer from early-onset Alzheimer's.
Why World Alzheimer's Day is Important
It brings people together
The fight against Alzheimer’s unites people around the world. From victims to caregivers, medical practitioners, and researchers, they all share the same struggle.
It provides valuable education
A theme is dedicated to each year’s observance. The message or theme helps shed light on common misconceptions about the disease.
Recognition for Alzheimer’s organizations
World Alzheimer’s Day is a great opportunity for associations to get recognition for the work they do. This puts them in a better position to accomplish their establishment’s goals.
World Alzheimer’s Day dates