BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) – The Alzheimer’s Association is hitting the road for its ‘Brain Bus’ tour.

The educational effort began in downtown Panama City on Thursday.

Over six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Of those, 580,000 living in Florida.

“In every 65 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” the association’s program manager Rob Harris said. 

Harris takes the ‘Brain Bus’ all across Florida.

“Forgetting is not part of normal aging,” Harris said. “That’s the first thing. As we get older our minds do slow down but forgetting people’s names and things like that is not normal.”

The brain bus will be handing out educational tools, such as pamphlets showing the 10 signs of early detection.

“In this vehicle, we can do programs,” Harris said. “We usually do healthy living for the brain and body. It seats about 10 people comfortably. And we just travel to rural and underserved areas.”

Harris said many of his family members have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“I educated myself with my family, and found out that this is pretty serious,” Harris said.

He wants to help bring awareness and education to all. Some Bay County community members have joined to help.

“It’s very near and dear to our hearts,” VITAS Healthcare General Manager Jennifer Phillips said.

VITAS Healthcare donated $1,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association programs across the Panhandle.

The bus will start the rest of its three-month journey on Friday. It plans to make stops in DeFuniak Springs and Bonifay on Monday, then Marianna and Chipley on Tuesday.  

Last year News 13 sponsored the local “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” fundraiser and will continue that partnership this coming fall.

For the full list of early detection signs, and the bus tour, visit their website