Today, I’d like to take just a moment to talk about the importance of social media with regards to what we do here at the Alzheimer’s Association.
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen something about the Ice Bucket Challenge – on your Facebook pages, YouTube, favorite morning TV show, a blog site – somewhere. And you may have even seen it hundreds of times and are sick of hearing about it. (Sorry!) I mention it here only as a reminder that social media in this day and age, can be a powerful tool for spreading awareness, raising money and advocating for change.
I am not here to implore you all to create a viral-video challenge for Alzheimer’s (though, by all means, feel free to do so!). But I am here to remind you that what you share on your own Social Media networks can make a BIG difference in a variety of ways:
- It can lead someone to call our Helpline, who may not have otherwise known about it or felt comfortable reaching out for assistance (800-272-3900).
- It can help normalize the experience of caregiving or being diagnosed with dementia and the multitude of feelings that go along with that. Both receiving a diagnosis of dementia and caring for someone with dementia can be extremely isolating. Knowing that others are going through the same things – even on a virtual level – can be very helpful.
- It can help reduce the stigma around dementia and Alzheimer’s through open discussion and education about the disease.
- It can help direct others to tools – like educational tools about the disease process, caregiving tools and local resources.
- It can help with Advocacy – the more people who raise their voice – physically or virtually – the louder that voice is. Legislators listen to loud and unified voices. As you probably already know, the number of people that are affected by a diagnosis of dementia is staggering – and so should the number of raised voices be.
- And of course, it can help with fundraising. As a social worker, I am naturally inclined to shy away from asking people for money. But it’s much easier when I think of all of the families and individuals we serve who need resources, who need assistance and above all – who need a CURE. It’s not rocket science – the more people who know about us and our events and donation opportunities, the more money we can raise for research and resources.
To summarize – thank you for all that you’re doing out there – as a blogger, a caregiver, a reader and a person. If you CAN do one more thing – please share us with others. Tell others about the Alzheimer’s Association – in person or virtually. If we blog something you like – share it! If we Facebook/Pinterest/Youtube something that resonates with you – share it! Share it and know that it does make a difference.
Here are some ways to follow, share and stay in touch (with the Georgia Chapter):
On the Web: www.alz.org/georgia