Raise Alzheimer’s Awareness By Painting It Purple September 20

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH), Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter, and the UMMC MIND Center  wants Mississippians to help paint the state purple on September 20 in honor of Alzheimer’s Action Day.
Mississippians are encouraged to wear purple and display purple ribbons/bows on their homes and offices to show their support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and the loved ones who care for them. People are also encouraged to host a Paint It Purple! event in their city and/or workplace.
“Paint It Purple! is about increasing awareness of this devastating disease,” said Kathy Van Cleave, Director of DMH’s Division of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia. “By opening up the dialogue, we can bring Alzheimer’s the attention it deserves. We are doing a lot to encourage awareness, education, and support, but there is so much more that needs to be done.”
The emotional, physical and financial toll can be difficult for the estimated 53,000 Mississippians diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2010, there were 916 Alzheimer’s disease related deaths in Mississippi. By 2025, it is estimated more than 65,000 Mississippians will have Alzheimer’s disease.
“These figures are not simply statistics,” said Patty Dunn, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter. “It is a mother or a father, a brother or a sister or a friend.  This global Alzheimer’s disease epidemic demands an enormous amount of attention.  Paint It Purple!  is a giant leap towards raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.  The Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter is proud to stand beside DMH and wear purple with a purpose.”
According to the National Alzheimer’s Association warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:
•             Memory loss that disrupts daily life
•             Challenges in planning or solving problems
•             Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
•             Confusion with time or place
•             Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
•             New problems with words in speaking or writing
•             Misplacing things or losing the ability to retrace steps
•             Decreased or poor judgment
•             Withdrawal from work or social activities
•             Changes in mood and personality
For more information, contact DMH at 601-359-1288 or the Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter at 601-987-0020 or visit www.dmh.ms.gov. Let us know how you chose to Paint It Purple!  Submit your photo to the Division of Alzheimer’s at kathy.vancleave@dmh.state.ms.us

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