You’re likely to see a lot more purple around Western New York this month, and much of it will be designed to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, an always fatal affliction that affects about a quarter-million people in the region who either have it or care for someone who does.
Several local businesses are showing support for Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month by drenching workplaces, public spaces and products in purple, the “official” color for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We just want to support the efforts of the cause by touching more people,” said Tom Fogarty, general manager of West Herr Toyota in Orchard Park, which has decorated its showroom in all things purple and is providing information about the disease and the resources offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, Western New York Chapter.
More than a dozen bakeries are offering items with purple frosting or a purple decoration, including Budwey’s Markets, Caramici’s Dessert Bar & Bakery, Carriage Trade Pastries, Case-Nic Cookies, Dessert Deli, DiCamillo’s bakeries, Fairy Cakes, Mazurek’s Bakery, Paula’s Donuts shops and Sweet Beginnings.
Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, will speak on the House Floor on Wednesday about the importance of Alzheimer’s disease treatment and research.
In Niagara Falls, the falls will be illuminated purple at 9 p.m. Friday; the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo will glow purple Nov. 18, 22 and 23; and the Peace Bridge also will shine in purple at times this month.
“Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders are this generation’s great challenge,” regional chapter Executive Director Leilani Pelletier said in a news release. “At some point, everyone will be touched by the devastation of dementia, either in their own family, or that of a friend, neighbor or co-worker. … Our job is to make sure that when this disease strikes, people know they can turn to us for guidance and support, for education and outreach, and to help direct funds into the research that will lead to an end to this terrible disease.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States; one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Across Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, some 55,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, the regional chapter estimates, and more than 155,000 family members and friends provide some kind of care for those people. For more information, visit alz.org or call 1 (800) 272-3900.