SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. -- A Spring Valley Church is hoping the color purple will help raise awareness for Alzheimer's.
The St. Paul's Episcopal Church became involved with the Alzheimer's Association's Purple Sunday initiative this spring.
“I learned they have Purple Sunday at churches, so I said we could use you at our church,” Linnette Livermore, the Health Ministry Chair, said. “My mother died of Alzheimer's, so I’m intimately involved. I’d like to see some progress with the disease. I think it’s the worst of the worst diseases.”
Purple Sunday is designed to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s in the African-American and Hispanic communities through houses of worship.
Purple Sunday at St. Paul’s started with a “Purple Day,” when congregants were encouraged to wear purple to services, followed by a short 15-minute program in which Alzheimer’s Association staff members gave an introduction on the basic facts about the disease. This was followed up weeks later by a longer presentation at the church on the 10 warning symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Livermore said she feels strongly about the importance of raising awareness. The church will host another Purple Sunday program in the fall on nutrition.
“I think that it’s important for people to know the signs and symptoms, and I think nutrition and exercise are big components,” Livermore said. “Our church has a large population of elderly and people with elderly parents. I think they need to be aware of the signs so they can seek treatment.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, African Americans are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as Caucasians, and Hispanics are 1.5 times as likely.