TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – In a normal year, the Alzheimer Association’s Brain Bus would typically tour across the state of Florida to help and educate those who have questions about Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Sometimes, it leads to what is most important, and that’s early detection.
“A man told his story recently. He came to the Brain Bus and we had a conversation, and I recommended he go to a memory clinic and have a memory screening done. He was diagnosed with dementia. He said he was so happy he stopped by the Brain Bus to learn this information and it just gave me chills,” says Ron Harris, who is a program manager with the Alzheimer’s Association.
This year has proven to be anything but normal, though, so the Brain Bus is going virtual.
“Participants sign in and they are able to participate in the program, and we answer their questions, they watch the presentation,” says Harris.
Typically, the two buses make stops in underserved communities, or at health fairs across the state where people can learn about the warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
While you won’t get a diagnosis from the Brain Bus, the conversation you’ll have can give you more information or even a recommendation to see a doctor.
“What we’ve noticed is doctors wait for their patients to bring up the conversation, and the patients are waiting for the doctor to bring it up so this kind of breaks that barrier so they know what questions to ask and what to be concerned about when they speak to their doctor about it,” says Harris.
The Brain Bus and the virtual programs are free.
If you’d like to sign up for a virtual Brain Bus session, call the helpline at 800-272-3900.