How “Our Stories” Is Changing the Way Families Talk About Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association’s new initiative highlights how important early conversations can be for those with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.

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- Posted on Jun 10, 2019

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The Alzheimer’s Association and Ad Council launched the Our Stories campaign, in honor of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, featuring real people sharing their experiences with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The goal, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, is to encourage family members, loved ones and those suffering from cognitive decline to be aware of symptoms and jumpstart discussions about diagnosis and care.

These discussions can be critical for better long-term care, said Michael Carson, Chief Marketing Officer at the Alzheimer’s Association.  

“Initiating conversations sooner can enable early diagnosis, which offers many important benefits, including allowing more time for critical care planning, better disease management and providing diagnosed individuals a voice in their future care,” he said.

Unfortunately, many people put off or avoid these critical conversations completely. The Alzheimer’s Association conducted a survey finding that 9 out of 10 people would want others to tell them if they had a memory problem. But 3 of 4 responders said they felt initiating this discussion with a loved one would be difficult.

Our Stories seeks to bridge that gap and give people the tools they need to start these conversations.

The campaign features people like Theresa, who went to the doctor after her daughter, Shon, noticed her typically clean mother wasn’t taking care of her home. Or take, Ed, who was spurred to talk to his mom, Cynthia, after noticing that she didn’t know what to do at a stop sign. His willingness to talk to her about it led to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at age 63.

“As difficult as it was receiving my diagnosis, I was grateful to have my son’s support,” Cynthia said. “He reassured me and he has been there for me ever since.”

Along with personal video stories, the campaign’s website features practical tips and tools for noticing warning signs and step-by-step guides to starting the conversation. Designed to be interactive, engaging and practical, the site is a rich resource for loved ones.

“We hope [the campaign] will encourage audiences to notice the signs early, trust their gut, and have a talk,” said Lisa Sherman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ad Council. “Having this conversation early can make a big difference in the lives of those who have been diagnosed and their families.”

For more information visit the Our Stories website.

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