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Memories lost and memories gained

Indiana Alzheimer’s Association hosts events to honor brain health awareness month

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Indiana Alzheimer’s Association hosts events to honor brain health awareness month

Painting someone’s nails is not always a means of connection. For some, it’s a job. For others, it’s a fun sleepover activity.

For Schonda Davis, it’s everything.

Davis painting her grandmother’s nails became the single point of connection the two shared after her grandmother’s dementia diagnosis. For her grandmother, it was a way to relax and feel comfortable in her environment. For Davis, it was a way to see her grandmother the way she had before the diagnosis.

This simple connection became the driving passion for Davis’ volunteer work with the Indiana Alzheimer’s Association. She dedicates her work to her grandmother and mother, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia.

“They are my ‘why’ … My passion, my goal, is to provide tools (to help care for loved ones) to as many people as possible,” Davis said.

Davis’s grandmother’s story is only one out of an estimated 6.9 million Americans who are currently living with Alzheimer’s dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. To honor these stories and educate future generations, the Indiana chapter has organized a series of events to recognize Alzheimer’s and brain health awareness month in June.

Between June 4-25, the Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting six virtual educational sessions that are free to attend. The topics will include healthy habits, tips for caregivers and the latest research on Alzheimer’s dementia.

Davis, who is hosting one of the virtual sessions, wants the conversation to inspire caregivers.

“People are going to leave empowered. For me, that’s the most important thing,” Davis said. “Education is powerful. I want to provide people with knowledge and education that can help them.”

Woman giving a presentation about dementia and Alzheimer's awareness
Vivien Carter giving a presentation on dementia research. (Photo/Laura Forbes)

According to Vivien Carter, the director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Greater Indiana chapter, the goal of the events is to highlight the work of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“With Alzheimer’s and brain awareness month, we thought it was really important to make sure the community had access to a span of programming that we offer,”  Carter said. “There’s something there for everyone.”

The Indiana Alzheimer’s Association has also launched a four-year initiative called “ALZ equity for Indiana” to reach underserved communities. This initiative will target support and outreach to Black, Latino and LGBTQ communities.

The Indiana chapter hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

The following virtual sessions are set to take place in June. Participants can register online at alz.org:

June 4 at 7 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. CDT

10 Healthy Habits for Your Brain and Body

June 11 at noon EDT / 11 a.m. CDT

The Empowered Caregiver: Building Foundations of Caregiving

June 12 at noon EDT / 11 a.m. CDT

Advancing the Science: The Latest in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research

Junio 12 at 5 p.m. EDT / 4 p.m. CDT

Avances Científicos: Lo Último en Investigación sobre Alzheimer y Demencia

June 18 at 6 p.m. EDT / 5 p.m. CDT

The Empowered Caregiver: Supporting Independence

June 25 at noon EDT / 11 a.m. CDT

Advancements in New Treatments

For more information about the Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and to view upcoming events, visit alz.org.

Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317-762-7854 or follow her on Instagram at @hanna.rauworth.

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