Posted St. Patty’s Day 2021 (3/17/21)
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Before I move to our weekly look at opportunities to tangibly do stuff for sufferers and caregivers, I just wanted to say thank you. Monday’s post was number 600. 600 is a large number….and it wouldn’t have been possible without your encouragement. From the bottom of my chubby green leprechaun heart, I thank you. 🙂
Today I want to talk about advocacy in a political sense. There are many ways to do this, but the one I want to laser beam in on today is the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, also known as AIM. Before I get started, allow me to express my general distaste for politics. My brother-in-law told me something about the topic that stuck: The word “Politics” comes from the two ancient Greek words Poly (meaning “many”) and “Tics” (meaning “bloodsucking insects”). While there is some truth to this adage, the vast majority of politicians that I have met are exactly the opposite, at least in the context of our topic. Members of both parties are genuinely concerned about folks with dementia, about their caregivers, and about seniors in general. Regardless of views on controversial topics like gun control, abortion rights, and whose statue should be displayed, everyone universally agrees that Alzheimer’s needs to be cured, and quick!
Who- To me, anyone with a story is a good candidate for this way to help. Your AIM representatives will help you understand what is going on in advocacy through emails, trainings, and the like, but the main thing you are needed for is to put a face and a story with the legislative need. Legislators, God bless their souls, are inundated with needs, mostly financial. While it is helpful to share the big picture statistics with a civil servant, the big numbers we share can just seem like everyone else’s big numbers at times. However, when you put a face of a constituent along with the numbers, it becomes personal. Add your story, which, by default, is tragic and heartfelt, it means more.
What- The main thing advocates in the AIM program do is contact legislators and media sources asking for certain votes to go our way. Again, these are not typically partisan at all. The only tension is whether our important cause trumps other, similar needs enough to loosen purse strings or vote considerations enough to justify. There is an event in March every year referred to as Memory Day (this year it was Memory Week, held virtually) in which, in our state of Missouri, we gather dozens of advocates together and visit the state legislators’ offices to tell our stories and ask for votes on priorities. Youi will see in my pictures that our sea of purple can be very impactful. I have written letters to the editor, appeared on TV and Radio, and posted extensively on social media. There is a process they would like followed and they document legislative efforts on their website which, in itself, is a type of advocacy. It is relatively easy, stress-free, and really does help.
Where-The where, as noted above, may be at a local political office, a state office, a federal office, or in your living room on social media. There is something for everyone. 🙂
Why- There are several reasons why this group exists. It is kept separate from the Alzheimer’s Association for transparency sake, but their goals overlap. I guess the real reason why to join is there is a huge need. Legislators understand the need as evidenced by the multi-billion dollar expenditures for research and caregiving. However, reminding them of the need and educating newcomers to their ranks is critical as we are only one election away from being forgotten if we don’t stay out there to be seen. Everyone has needs…every cause has needs. There are many, many causes that are critical. (Not every cause is a bridge to Nowhere). If we are ever to find a cure for this disease, it will take funds and effort and much of both can be prompted through this group.
When- To me, now is a great time to keep the foot to the pedal. As budgets inevitably are going to have to be tightened eventually, we need to stay on the frontline of awareness for our legislative friends and groups. The time is now more than ever…
I will throw in a “How”: How to join: Here is the link. Contribute your time and money and effort and prayer.
Thank you for considering this. I am a member and will continue to be even though I greatly dislike watching politics on TV/the Internet. The cure for all that ills our world isn’t going to be found through politics, but I can tell you that these fine folks can do a lot of good for our cause. Lemonade out of lemons if it makes you feel better…but you will exit with a more compassionate and favorable opinion of politics in our sphere when you are done. 🙂 And heck, some sweet day we WILL beat this disease and this may become less necessary, but until we #EndALZ, we march on. 🙂
Update: Mom was extra sleepy again yesterday. We had been lucking out in our morning visits getting to have her awake a little, but the last two have been sleepytown. I get to see her tomorrow morning, and am hoping she is perky. 🙂
Runnin’ Til I’m Purple update: Our fundraiser is at $1130 now! 🙂 Woot woot!! We are still shooting for $5,280 by run day and I still feel good about our prospects. As far as my prep, Monday’s daylight savings time kicked my rear. I was only able to get in 4 miles plus 6 miles on a stationary bike and a few leg presses. I accomplished this while nearly falling asleep. Yesterday I went to sleep earlier and woke up refreshed and got in 8 miles. Today the same 8 miles, but at a faster pace (for me) of 5.2 miles per hour. Carl Lewis has nothing to fear, but for me I was smoking it. 😉 Speed, on my run day, isn’t a worry, but I want to build endurance and strength. I am a still around 250 pounds…not exactly a lean Kenyan distance runner. 🙂 I have a long way to go and only 3 months to prepare. Thank you for your encouragement!
Note: The sashes everyone wears designate that it is our group. I tie mine into a tie because I am odd that way. 🙂