The big purple bus â€œBrain Busâ€ rolled into Chipley on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Washington County Public Library. Rob Harris, care and support program manager, offers support information, resources and more to those that come to the bus.
The Brain Bus covers 67 counties throughout Florida, bringing awareness of Alzheimer’s disease for patients and their caregivers. The program currently has two buses averaging 350 stops throughout Florida.Â
â€œWith two buses running, we were able to reach over 10,000 people, and hope to reach more this year,â€ Harris said.Â
The numbers of Alzheimerâ€™s related deaths are on the increase, unlike heart disease that is now declining due to proper medications and treatment.
â€œAlzheimerâ€™s has no cure, so awareness of the disease and ways to manage it are important,â€ Harris said.
One in three adults will be diagnosed with Alzheimerâ€™s or another form of dementia, according to the Alzheimerâ€™s Association web page. Although anyone over the age of 60 can begin to show signs of Alzheimers, even those as young as 30 can be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimerâ€™s doesnâ€™t just affect the patient but also the caregiver. Harri and the Brain Bus have lots of information to give out for both also offering both a website and 24-hour hotline.Â Â
Harris explains the 10 warning signs to every person that enters the bus:
-Memory loss that disrupts daily activity
-Challenges in planning or solving problems
-Difficulty completing familiar tasks
-Confusion with time or place
-Trouble understanding visual imaginesÂ
-Problems with speaking words, or writing
-Misplacing things and not able to retrace step
-Decreased or poor judgment
-Withdrawal from work or social activities
-Changes in mood and personality
Harris also explains four ways to help reduce the risk of Alzheimerâ€™s and other dementias:
-Eating a healthy diet
-Engaging in cognitive activities
-Being socially engaged
For more information on Alzheimerâ€™s and other forms of dementia, contact the Alzheimerâ€™s Association at 800.272.3900 or their website at www.alz.org.