International Women’s Day presents a global opportunity to attack Alzheimer’s disease and bring to light a fact that many are in the dark about: Alzheimer’s disease discriminates against women. An estimated 5.8 million people in the United States are living with the disease and two-thirds of those are women. Two-thirds of the 16 million Alzheimer’s caregivers are also women, and one-third are our daughters.
At SXSW, Maria Shriver, the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the Alzheimer’s Association will bring a disruptive conversation to the stage and to a younger audience who may believe that Alzheimer’s disease does not impact them. This myth will be busted by a powerhouse panel, including Maria Shriver (Award-winning Journalist, Author, and founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement), Dr. Farida Sohrabji (Neuroscientist focused on gender differences and diseases of the brain), Alexandra Socha (Actress and Alzheimer’s Advocate who lost her mother to young-onset Alzheimer’s in June), and moderated by Ashley C. Ford (Journalist and Buzzfeed Contributor).
“More women are living with Alzheimer’s disease in America than men, and no one knows why that is,” said Shriver. “More women are also caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. It is critical that people understand the devastating impact this disease has on millions. This is not an ‘old person’s disease.’ This is a mind-blowing problem that is sweeping across all generations. Once people know the facts, they will know that it is imperative for them to raise their voice and join this global movement to wipe out Alzheimer’s.”
During the session, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement will premiere a new public service announcement (PSA) and an accompanying newly developed Facebook camera effect. The PSA features people who are living with the disease and their caregivers. Women living with the disease from across the country – New York, N.Y., Montgomery, Ala., Milwaukee, Wis. and Chicago, Ill. – and their caregivers recently came together to form the AlzheimHER’s Chorus. Together they sang inspirational songs and empowering anthems, including “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King, “Man I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain, “Breathin'” by Ariana Grande, “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan and “The Greatest” by Sia.
“The power and inspiration of these women coupled with the strength of music will ignite a movement of people to raise their voices to advance the Alzheimer’s cause together,” said Michael Carson, Chief Marketing Officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “As the leaders in the field, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to providing care and support for people facing this devastating and deadly disease, while also funding and convening the global science community that will answer why this disease disproportionately impacts women and ultimately end it.”
In addition, the campaign will feature a newly developed Karaoke-style camera effect experience on Facebook, allowing people with a Facebook account to sing with the AlzheimHER’s Chorus and share their duet on social media. This social media effect will engage a broad audience, across generations, to raise awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s on women.
To get involved with this campaign, view the PSA, learn the facts, sing with the AlzheimHER’s Choir, and donate to support research about Alzheimer’s and women, visit alz.org/raiseyourvoice.
The Alzheimer’s Association and the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement partnered with GSD&M in Austin on this groundbreaking campaign.