Turning NC Purple

CHARLOTTE — The Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter and Alzheimer’s Association Eastern North Carolina Chapter are calling on North Carolinians to turn the state purple for Alzheimer’s on Thursday, March 11 for the NC State Advocacy Day.

Instead of hosting a large gathering of advocates from across the state at the North Carolina State Capitol, the Alzheimer’s Association encourages advocates to join the Alzheimer’s Association virtually for a day of activities.

The event — which takes place from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. — will be an opportunity for the public and those affected by Alzheimer’s to take action and speak up for the needs and rights of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Attendees will learn about the legislative process; engage in virtual discussions with elected officials; and share their personal story with those affecting policies for individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia.

“Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most critical public health issues in America,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Western Carolina Chapter in a statement. “This is why we unrelentingly advocate for public policies that increase quality of life and support all those affected. We urge as many people as possible to join us for our North Carolina Advocacy Day. By working together, we are making an impact.”

In addition to the human toll of the disease, care for Alzheimer’s — the country’s most expensive condition — cost the nation $305 billion in 2020 with projections to reach $1.1 trillion by 2050. These staggering numbers do not include unpaid care by friends and family valued at $244 billion a year — $7.4 billion in North Carolina alone.

State governments are increasingly on the front lines in addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis, the care and support needs of families facing the disease and its impact on local economies, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. In North Carolina, there are more than 180,000 people living with the disease and 479,000 caregivers.

Attendees are invited to join (via video or phone) for the entire event or just the discussions that interest them most. There is no charge to participate, but registration is required by March 2 to ensure advocates receive the proper resources prior to event day. No prior experience is required, but attendees will be asked to participate in a training call prior to the event. Access the full schedule and sign up at tinyurl.com/ALZNCAdvocacyDay or by calling (800) 272-3900.

The Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education and advocacy in 49 central and western North Carolina counties — including Avery, Ashe and Watauga counties. It offers opportunities to get involved and to make a difference, in addition to a variety of services including: a 24/7 helpline, support groups, educational programs and MedicAlert.

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease or the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit www.alz.org/northcarolina or call (800) 272-3900. For the latest news and updates, follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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