Ad Council aims to reach Hispanic families with Alzheimer's awareness message
Connie Storms, with the Alzheimer's Association, says Hispanics in the U.S. are 1½ times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than non-Hispanic whites. The PSA campaign promotes early detection.
The nonprofit agency that brought us Smokey Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog and the saying "Friends don't let friends drive drunk," has turned its attention to educating Hispanic families about the early signs of Alzheimer's disease.
The Ad Council's campaign, titled “Some Things Come With Age," is a new phase of its partnership with the Alzheimer's Association.
Connie Storms, program manager with the association in Central Florida, said Hispanics are 1½ times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. She said Hispanics often get misdiagnosed or the diagnosis comes late.
"We really want to get people connected at that earliest stage," she said, "so both the caregivers and the people who are experiencing these cognitive issues can get the help that they need."
The benefits of early detection include newly approved prescription drugs -- covered by Medicare -- that can slow down the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's.
Lopez Negrete Communications, headquartered in Houston, has created free public service announcements for television in English and Spanish that highlight benefits of growing older but also warning signs of dementia.
"This is a really wonderful ad," Storms said. "It's kind of lively, it's upbeat, but then it also lets people know that sometimes when people begin having trouble with things they normally do, like addition or memory or other kinds of issues, it's something where they may want to actually go to our sites for the 10 warning signs and consider getting early diagnosis."
The videos —for example, a 30-second PSA that begins with an older woman dancing — direct you to 10signs.org or 10señales.org, where the Alzheimer's Association has information on those warning signs.
In a prepared statement, Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council's chief campaign development officer, said: "'Some Things Come With Age' aims to educate individuals, especially in Hispanic communities, to recognize changes in their loved ones' behavior that may be mistaken for normal signs of aging but could actually be early signs of Alzheimer's and empower them to have a conversation as a family."
The campaign kicked off last month.
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