The Alzheimer’s Association has released results of a new survey showing that although 90% of people want to be told by family members if they seem to have cognitive problems, only 25% of people say they would be comfortable initiating that conversation. Often the first to notice memory issues or cognitive problems, close family members are hesitant to say anything.
The Alzheimer's Association campaign is designed to bridge the communication gap within families by providing people with tools to talk about cognition. Created in partnership with the Ad Council, the campaign features real-life videos of family members describing how they noticed a loved ones’ memory lapses and took the first step in initiating a conversation about it. The stories are in multimedia formats and feature a retired nurse not knowing how she arrived at a stop sign, a once voracious reader unable to finish a book, and an experienced painter forgetting where to apply paint.
Created pro bono by the Alzheimer’s community, the overarching message of the campaign is to encourage people to trust their instincts and proactively raise concerns. The message, "When something feels different, it could be Alzheimer's – now is the time to talk," is designed to help people overcome reluctance to speak up when they observe potential symptoms and take the important first step of having a conversation.
The campaign website, Our Stories also includes family tools and resources, including symptom lists, benefits of early diagnosis, discussion guides, and customizable conversation starters.
"Our Stories is a transformative web experience to change the way people view Alzheimer's disease. We used real stories, an illustrated aesthetic, and an interactive z-space approach to the narrative to build comfort for our users so that they would leave the site experience and apply the learnings with their real life situation," said Chris Neff, Sr. Director of Innovation at the community. "The resulting product is a beautiful balance of art and information that we hope breaks through with the audience and leads to increased doctor visits and diagnoses at an early stage."
Lee I. Kubersky, MD
Deena E. Kuruvilla, MD, FAHS
Katherine T. Hamilton, MD