Alzheimer’s Association’s Digital Ofrenda to Remember those that passed from Alzheimer’s and dementia

“Having a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is heartbreaking. It is like losing them twice.” says Alzheimer’s Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Amelia Garza. Garza was a caregiver for her grandmother who suffered from the disease and after losing her in February, she set out to help connect families with a shared experience in the hopes of celebrating their loved ones’ lives together.

In partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art and local artist Gabriel Moreno, Garza spearheaded the Alzheimer’s Association’s ofrenda installation as one of the pieces in the Museum’s Día de Muertos exhibit – Living Presence. The ofrenda celebrates the lives of four individuals, Maria B. Cerda, Jose R Gonzalez, Abraham Montelongo, and Socorro Rocha, who lived with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia and is available to visit at the Museum from September 22nd through December 10th.

Not only will community members be able to see the physical ofrenda, but any viewer will be able to upload their own picture of a loved one who has passed from the disease to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Digital Ofrenda (also available at the following link: alzheimers-illinois.org/Ofrenda/).

Alzheimer’s is a disease that touches the lives of millions, and within the Hispanic and Latino communities, it strikes with a 1.5 times HIGHER incidence. With new treatments emerging, families will soon be able to have more quality time with their loved ones. However, these treatments are only effective during the early stages of the disease. “Given that Hispanic and Latino communities are less likely to receive an early diagnosis, I worry that our community won’t be able to benefit from treatments. The Alzheimer’s Association’s physical and digital ofrendas are a way for the community to realize that we are here. We are in your corner ready to fight with you. It also says that you have a community around you who has or is currently going through the same thing. You aren’t alone.”

As the dates of Día de Muertos draw near, we invite you to be part of this collaboration by sharing the news so that all of those affected by this disease can be together to remember their loved ones who have passed. By participating, you not only honor the memory of those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia but also contribute to the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission to create a world without Alzheimer’s.

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