Florida’s Old Capitol turns purple this week to honor Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
From 8 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday morning, the Alzheimer’s Association will bathe the historic building in purple light, as a sign of concern and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death in America.
With the second highest incidence rate of Alzheimer’s in the country, Florida has over 500,000 residents affected with the disease.
As the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, the Association chose June for its Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month (ABAM). It also coincides with the last week of the Florida Legislature’s Special Session for its purple light, the same time the state budget expects to be finished.
The event will also shine a spotlight on new evidence: individuals can reduce their risk of cognitive decline with certain lifestyle changes. The conclusions come from a new research summary recently published online in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“The research on cognitive decline is still evolving,” said Alzheimer’s Association Chief Strategy Officer Angela Geiger. “But there are actions people can take. Certain healthy behaviors known to combat cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline.”
Activities include staying mentally active, regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet that benefits both body and brain.
“There is also some evidence people may benefit from staying socially engaged with friends, family, and the community,” Geiger added.
The Alzheimer’s Association is also promoting a series of activities, such as the launch of a new brain health education program, Healthy Habits for a Healthier You, as well as an annual fundraising event called “The Longest Day.” The fundraiser is set for sunrise-to-sunset on the summer solstice (June 21) symbolizing the challenge of those living with the disease and their caregivers.
Alzheimer’s Association also asks supporters to wear purple on June 21 and share photos of family, friends and co-workers wearing purple through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtags #ENDALZ and #GoPurple.
More information about ABAM is online at alz.org or by calling (800) 272-3900.