For the second time, this November, CVS Health and the Alzheimer's Association are partnering on an in-store fundraising campaign aimed at fighting Alzheimer's disease. The campaign is part of a three-year, $10 million commitment from CVS Health to the Alzheimer's Association.
This year's campaign will highlight the vulnerability of people living with Alzheimer's and their caregivers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. CVS Health noted that more than 5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer's disease and they are cared for by 16 million caregivers across the country.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all our customers, but families impacted by Alzheimer's have been particularly vulnerable," said Eileen Howard Boone, CVS Health senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. "This campaign will support Alzheimer's Association care and support programs, including online and virtual programs, to help these families during the current pandemic and beyond."
The in-store fundraising campaign launched Nov. 1 at CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. During the campaign CVS Pharmacy customers will have the opportunity to contribute to the Alzheimer's Association by rounding up the change on purchases to the next dollar. November also is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, making it a critical time to support the cause.
Throughout the month, the Alzheimer's Association and CVS Health will share tips and resources to help caregivers navigate COVID-19, as well as general information to address caregiver stress. Currently, more than 16 million family members and friends are serving as Alzheimer's caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers, or 48% who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer's or another dementia.
While Alzheimer's and other dementia do not seem to increase the risk of COVID-19, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk of contracting COVID-19 and other illnesses. In addition, Alzheimer's caregivers may be at additional risk because many social distancing protocols are not possible due to the intensive, hands-on care needed by people living with the disease.
"Since the pandemic, the Alzheimer's Association has been committed to expanding our virtual resources for Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers, while also educating the public about the unique challenges facing these caregivers," said Donna McCullough, chief field and development officer, Alzheimer's Association. "Joining forces with a respected health leader like CVS Health will give even greater visibility to these efforts and enable us to continue to support families affected by Alzheimer's during this critical time."
In conjunction with the partnership, CVS Health also is serving as a national presenting sponsor of the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's, which takes place in more than 600 communities across the country each year.
"The Alzheimer's Association is grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm CVS Health brings to the fight against Alzheimer's," McCullough said. "The funds raised through our partnership will bolster our efforts to support families facing Alzheimer's and advance much needed research that will one day change the future for millions."