National Alzheimer’s Awareness and Family Caregivers Month

If you have been touched by Alzheimer’s or are a caregiver to someone with the disease, there is help.

By: Tonda Ames | Category: Other | Issue: November 2008

Helpline Specialist Denyce Willis can help caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia find resources.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s “2008 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report, more than 40 percent of the 10 million American, unpaid caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high. Additionally, caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia are more likely than non-caregivers to report that their health is fair or poor. This November, during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, the Alzheimer’s Association is helping to relieve the physical and emotional stress these caregivers experience with the introduction of a new resource – Caregiver Stress Check.

Caregiver Stress Check is a first-of-its-kind, interactive quiz that helps caregivers identify their symptoms of stress and provides them with a tailored list of helpful referrals and resources. Check out the quiz starting November 1 at www.alz.org.

When caregivers answer “yes” to stress symptoms, they are led to Alzheimer’s Association resources, designed to alleviate their specific issues. For example, if the caregiver worries about the safety of the person they care for, they might be directed to MedicAlert + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return, a national program to combat wandering.

“Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease poses special challenges and increasing levels of care that can be taxing on the caregiver’s health,” says Tonda Ames, vice president of Marketing and Programs for the Oklahoma and Arkansas Chapter. “Our new Caregiver Stress Check will help caregivers maintain their own health, which is crucial in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is also offering two new, best-in-class topical videos for caregivers and people with dementia: “Understanding Alzheimer’s: An Introductory Guide for People with Dementia and Their Caregivers” and “Alzheimer's and Safety: A Guide to Planning and Preparation.” Aimed at increasing understanding, building skills and empowering people with dementia and those in their circle of care, these leading videos feature essential information on dementia basics, care, and home and transportation safety, delivered by individuals with dementia, family caregivers, physicians and care experts. Videos will be offered in DVD format at www.alz.org beginning November 1 and through local Alzheimer's Association chapters nationwide.

The Alzheimer’s Association continues to offer its other various programs and services that help people affected by Alzheimer’s at every stage of the disease. In addition to the 77 Alzheimer’s Association chapters nationwide, its toll-free helpline (800-272-3900) with translators for 140 languages and its informative website (www.alz.org) are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Launched in November, 2007, the Alzheimer’s Association also has a suite of caregiving resources, CareSource, that provide information to ease decision-making, build skills to care for loved ones and keep people living with the disease safe. CareFinder is a starting point for caregivers to get guidance and information on all types of dementia care and to find out what kind will best fit their needs. CareFinder helps caregivers recognize good care, communicate effectively with providers, and plan for care. Senior Housing Finder, powered by SNAPforSeniors®, is the first free dementia-specific senior housing database. Lotsa Helping Hands is a free online calendar to help caregivers and friends and family manage requests and schedules. MedicAlert + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return is a program that provides assistance when a person with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia wanders and becomes lost locally or far from home.

If you have been touched by Alzheimer’s or are a caregiver to someone with the disease, there is help. For more information and resources, visit www.alz.org or call 800-272-3900.

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. “Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s,” says Tonda.

For more information, contact

Alzheimer’s Association

6465 S. Yale, Ste. 312Tulsa, OK 74136 (918) 481-7741www.alz.org/alzokar


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