Although the number of people with Alzheimer’s is steadily growing, so too is the need to reduce the stigma surrounding this disease that affects one in three seniors.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, making it a logical time to take steps to increase awareness – and lessen the stigma – of Alzheimer’s. More than five million Americans are living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. That number is expected to balloon to 14 million people by 2050.

When the stigma of the disease is allowed to continue, families may delay or refuse treatment in the early stages, when they could experience the best results. Relationships can be strained as family members may not want to discuss it due to embarrassment or misunderstanding, while fears of negative reactions from family and friends may prevent you from seeking out professional help.

Embassy Healthcare – which has dementia care facilities in several of its communities throughout Ohio – knows the importance of shedding light on Alzheimer’s. Here are some ways you can help shed the stigma:

  1. Be open about it: Learning and talking about Alzheimer’s raises awareness and makes it more comfortable to deal with rather than keeping it to yourself. Comedian Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen – whose mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at 55 – started Hilarity for Charity®, a nonprofit group dedicated to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s. They work to raise money for research, improve care and raise awareness by getting millennials engaged with their support.
  2. Don’t isolate: One of the most basic and important things you can do with an Alzheimer’s patient is to keep them engaged socially. Studies have shown that socialization can reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Having that human connection and support network can go a long way in improving quality of life.
  3. Get to know the facts: Many people who don’t have personal experience with Alzheimer’s have a lot of misconceptions about the disease, its symptoms, stages and conditions. While that is understandable, it’s our job to help them understand what Alzheimer’s is, and what it is not.
  4. See the person, not just the disease: Remember that a person’s emotional needs do not disappear as they begin to lose cognitive function. They still need love and support.

For more information about dementia care services at Embassy Healthcare, call 888-975-1379, schedule a tour of our facilities or contact us online.