Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Jeff Fost

Every September Alzheimer’s Disease International encourages people to take part in World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and all types of dementia. There is stigma and a lack of awareness about Alzheimer’s disease; many people believe dementia is a part of normal aging, which is false. One of the goals of World Alzheimer’s Month is to educate the general public on Alzheimer’s disease including the risk factors and symptoms. It is important to be able to recognize the warning signs of Alzheimer’s and reach out to your healthcare provider if you are concerned that you or a loved one may be affected by Alzheimer’s. 

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It is a progressive, irreversible, neurodegenerative disease (which results in the loss of structure/function of neurons in the brain) that impacts a person’s memory. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are medications that can help a person live more comfortably with Alzheimer’s disease. There are many healthcare providers and other resources that offer support for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. No two people will have the same experience with Alzheimer’s disease; however, many of the early warning signs are similar. The ten warning signs of dementia include memory loss that affects day-to-day abilities, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation to time and place, impaired judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, changes in mood and behavior, changes in personality, and loss of initiative. Visit to learn more about the ten warning signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

The theme of this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month is “never too early, never too late.” The 2023 campaign looks to highlight the importance of understanding the risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease, identifying the ten warning signs of dementia (as listed above), and practicing risk reduction strategies. The greatest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is increasing age, but it is important to remember that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s Disease International has identified 12 additional risk factors associated with developing dementia including physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, air pollution, head injury, infrequent social contact, less education, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and hearing impairment. It is important to note that having these risk factors increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but there is no certainty that it will result in the disease either.

Although Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can be scary to think about, it is important to take action this September for World Alzheimer’s Month. There are many things you can do and learn in support of World Alzheimer’s Month. 

  1. Educate Yourself and Others: Take the time to learn about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, their risk factors, early warning signs, and available treatments. This is also a great time to learn more about the stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Alzheimer’s and dementia are poorly understood diseases which results in false information easily spreading which contributes to stigma. Understanding Alzheimer’s disease allows you to challenge false information and be an advocate for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  2. Participate in Local Events: Many communities organize events during World Alzheimer’s Month. Join local walks, seminars, or fundraisers to show your support and connect with others who share a passion for this cause.
  3. Support Caregivers: Alzheimer’s and dementia can be emotionally and physically challenging for caregivers. Offer your assistance, empathy, or a listening ear to those caring for someone with the condition. 
  4. Practice Risk Reduction: Earlier we discussed the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Many of the risk factors are modifiable meaning you can actively reduce your risk of developing the disease by making changes in your everyday life. Being physically active, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular social activities can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Remember, it is never too early or too late to start practicing risk reduction strategies to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. It is important to understand the risk factors and symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease as well as what to do if you believe someone in your life is experiencing dementia. Your PharmaChoice pharmacist can help you understand these diseases and discuss the medications available to help patients living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This September, get involved and help make a difference for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer's Awareness Month - Learn More About Alzheimer's Support At Your Local Pharmacy

Jeff Fost
City PharmaChoice
Corner Brook, NL