June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, and while this month is important every year, it's especially important to turn your attention to Alzheimer's awareness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The pandemic has certainly affected all of us, but it has caused exceptional burden to our older adults, whether they're living at home or living at long-term care facilities," said Kelly Osthoff, Director of Regional Programs for the Alzheimer's Association, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "Our caregivers and our people living with dementia are and have been really impacted by this pandemic."

One of these effects is isolation, as families have not been able to visit their loved ones in care facilities due to COVID-19 concerns.

Another challenge is mental health, as both caregivers and patients have not been able to venture out of the house to get much-needed social interaction.

While we can do our part by reaching out to those affected by Alzheimer's, the Alzheimer's Association is also providing online resources for struggling families that anyone can access here. 

Another way to help raise awareness for Alzheimer's is by participating in The Longest Day on June 20, when people all over the world can organize a fundraising activity of their choice.

"The Longest Day is our way to take one day to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease, but also to take part in activities that we enjoy either individually or with others, maybe in a virtual space, to raise critical funds to find a cure for Alzheimer's," said Osthoff.

You can register for The Longest Day here, but if you aren't able to host a fundraiser, one of the best ways to join the fight against Alzheimer's is by taking care of yourself.

"What we're learning through the Alzheimer's research about finding a prevention or a treatment for Alzheimer's, is that there's actually things that we can do at any age to take care of our brain health," said Osthoff. "Anyone with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer's disease...there are things we can do earlier in life to reduce our risk for Alzheimer's disease."

These things include exercising, reading, quitting smoking, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and more.

To learn more about how you can join the fight against Alzheimer's, listen to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Kelly Osthoff below.

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