Alzheimer’s Association Wyoming Chapter, Recipient

It may not get all the headlines, but more Americans die every year from Alzheimer’s disease than from breast and prostate cancer combined. With a need for more educational resources in the United States, Janet Lewis, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Wyoming Chapter, is on a quest for change. With three staff members and hundreds of dedicated volunteers, the association’s mission is to care for the people affected by this disease, support their families and caregivers, and educate the state’s residents. This year, Lewis and her team added custom brain-teaser books to their toolbox. Purchased with a 4imprint® one by one® grant, the organization uses them to raise awareness about ways to end Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases. With chapters in 50 states across the United States, the Alzheimer’s Association envisions a world without Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Lewis and her team provide support to more than 10,000 people living with some sort of dementia plus 28,000 caregivers in the state of Wyoming. The organization carries out its mission through direct consultations with people affected by these diseases; classes to educate the community; and supporting and accelerating research. Lewis and her staff offer more than two dozen classes per year to caregivers and the general public to educate them on this disease and how to prevent it. The custom brain teasers are a perfect complement to what they teach. “Before this year, we were educating our audience without giving them material to work on what we were teaching. The grant was very exciting as it enabled us to provide material to practice what we preach. Now, when we hold our classes and talk about cognitive activities, we can actually give them the resources to challenge their own brain,” Lewis said. It’s proven that keeping the brain active with brain teasers or puzzles can reduce the risk of dementia later in life. The custom brain teasers were delivered to 25 older adults in May baskets and another 200 were given to class participants. “This year was the first time we used the booklets. We were so pleased to see that they contained a significant amount of cognitive challenges. We will keep ordering these booklets as they are perfect to keep the brain healthy. With 20 to 30 pages of activities, it will take our seniors some time to get through them all!” Lewis said.

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