Praise in Purple campaign raises Alzheimer's awareness

(WMC-TV) - Churches around the country are teaming up this month to take on Alzheimer's disease.

Praise in Purple is a grassroots effort to generate awareness about Alzheimer's.

At Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Sunday, some sobering statistics about Alzheimer's were shared.

"The youngest person in this area was 40 years old that was diagnosed with Alzheimer's," said registered nurse and church member Earline Collins.

Collins and other registered nurses have been busy all month with the Praise in Purple campaign.  It is an attempt by churches to wear purple to educate members and others about the devastating effects of Alzheimer's.

"It disables people to the point that they can't remember basic things such as cooking, dressing themselves, personal hygiene," said Reverend James Collins.

Several members at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church have family members who are struggling with Alzheimer's.  They said the disease can be devastating to the patients as well as family members.

"It's hitting every economic group, all races, and more specifically the African American community," said Earline Collins.  "So we need to arm ourselves with education so we'll know how to care for them without getting burned out."

In the Mid-South, 69 churches have teamed up to educate the community about Alzheimer's symptoms and treatment.

Church members said research is needed to combat the disease.  A campaign is underway to send thousands of cards to Congress asking the government to fund more research into the disease that affects more than 5 million people in the United States.

For more information on Alzheimer's and what you can do about it, click here.

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