Raising awareness refers to telling the general public that an issue exists, and speaking of the problems it creates. In my particular case, the issue is alzheimer’s disease.
Informing the population that alzheimer’s is a serious threat is the first step. I believe a majority of people in America know the word, but that most may think the only real problem associated with it is “memory loss”
Most, so called experts in the field, believe that raising awareness is often the first activity any advocacy group engages in.
I have asked this question hundreds of times. “Do you know about alzheimer’s disease?” Most answer something like this: “It’s when people forget things”. I have no way of doing a scientific poll, but I believe enough folks know the word and the short description “when people forget things”.
In 2015, a little west of here, I was interviewed by a local television personality. After finishing, I asked if he had an alzheimer’s connection. He didn’t have. He had a few minutes so I ask him if he knew about incontinence, violence, family breakups, caregiver stress, financial devastation and costs to taxpayers. To say the least he was surprised. That was an eye opener for me. I have since asked that same set of questions to family members of an alzheimer’s patient. These were not caregiving, and most were surprised. Most admit their visits to the alzheimer’s patient and caregiver were not long enough to witness such things. Some answered they did know of some of these problems, but “out of sight, out of mind”
I am told we need laws and money to solve “the alzheimer’s problem”. So, we need the electorate and the lawmakers to be made aware. In my very humble opinion they all should be subjected to the full definition of “the alzheimer’s problem”.
Some folks say that speaking of the horrors of alzheimer’s scares folks.
What I believe is scary is having your life consumed in one way or another by an utterly “Horrific” disease.
If you speak with me, be prepared to hear of the harsh realities. Patients and caregivers deserve that truth to be told. They live with some of the horrors on a daily basis.