The following suggested speech segments are for use at local ceremonies and events. Feel free to customize them to fit your local event and community.
Good [insert “morning” / “afternoon”].
It’s a great honor for me to represent the United States Postal Service today as we [dedicate/unveil] the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp.
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month.
For more than half a century, the Postal Service has issued special stamps to help raise public awareness about important health and social issues. Today, we are proud to use the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp to call attention to Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease Facts
According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2008 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, today an estimated five million people in the United States live with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia-related illnesses. That equates to one new diagnosis every 71 seconds. Those are staggering numbers.
Especially when you consider that people with Alzheimer’s disease die an average of 4 to 6 years after diagnosis, though some may live as many as 20 years.
There is no cure, but research has shown that effective care and support can improve quality of life for individuals and their caregivers over the course of the disease.
That is why it is so important to understand the disease and its symptoms, so that appropriate care can be given as soon as possible.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily activities.
As it progresses, changes in personality and behavior might include anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations.
In the late stages of the disease, individuals need help with dressing, personal hygiene, eating, and other basic functions.
Although there is no single cause or test, a skilled physician can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with 90 percent accuracy. The goal of the diagnostic workshop is to determine whether symptoms may be due to a condition other than dementia.
We at the Postal Service understand the power our stamps have in increasing awareness of important social and health issues. It is our goal — and our expectation — that the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp will encourage the public to learn to recognize the symptoms of the disease, understand what to do for those who have the disease, and lend their support to find a cure. The stamp is also a reminder to each and every one of us to get regular medical checkups.
As you will soon see, the stamp depicts a silhouette of an older woman sitting with another’s hand rested on her shoulder. It is the helping hand of care and concern that is so important to those who suffer from this terrible disease.
And now, if [insert names of ceremony participants] would join me in dedicating/unveiling the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp...
I appreciate this opportunity to introduce this stamp to all of you and to our customers and friends in this community. Thank you again for taking the time to join us here today.
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