Press Releases

Press Releases

For media inquiries, contact Carol Steinberg, Executive Vice President,
Alzheimer's Foundation of America 866.AFA.8484 | media@alzfdn.org

2010 Press Releases

 

December 21, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Receives 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator
Public Voted for Foundation to Be Charity Navigator’s Next Rated Organization

NEW YORK, NY—The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) announced today that it has received the highest rating--four stars--from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest independent evaluator of charitable organizations.

According to Charity Navigator, its four-star rating designates that AFA exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause. Only 32 percent of the more than 5,500 largest charities nationwide that Charity Navigator has evaluated for organizational efficiency and capacity have received this top ranking.

AFA was rated after it won a competition by Charity Navigator in which the company for the first time selected five organizations and asked the public to vote on which one it should evaluate next. Charity Navigator held the voting competition November 1 through 29, and announced it through social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, in addition to the organization’s blog and e-newsletter. Meanwhile, AFA had applied for the rating and was on a waiting list to be evaluated when it got picked for the contest.

“Receiving Charity Navigator’s four-star rank marks a significant stamp of approval on how we operate and provides additional reassurance to the families we serve and to current and prospective donors,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer. “The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is committed to maximizing dollars spent on programs and services to ensure that families nationwide receive the help they need now and in the future.”

AFA is also an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau and a recipient of the “Best in America” seal of excellence from Independent Charities of America. Its financial report is available at www.alzfdn.org.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

 

December 9, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Official to Testify Before Congress and Urge Policymakers to Act Now on Alzheimer’s Disease Crisis
Foundation’s CEO to Call for End to ‘Devastation’ in House Subcommittee Testimony Today

NEW YORK, NY—Eric J. Hall, the president and chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), today will call on policymakers to “end the devastation” caused by Alzheimer’s disease in testimony before the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

The subcommittee hearing will look at “Alzheimer’s Disease: The Ongoing Challenges.” It comes a day after the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging similarly focused on this disease, holding a forum entitled “Until There’s a Cure: How to Help Alzheimer’s Patients Now,” at which Hall participated on the panel.

His message: policymakers must urgently focus on increased funding for research related to Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic diseases, and care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

At the same time, “in the absence of a realistic short term prospect for a cure” for Alzheimer’s disease, AFA is sending a similar call to action to the public. It is encouraging Americans to sign a petition urging President Obama and Congress to declare a “decade of care” for individuals with dementia and their families, including creating a comprehensive strategy that features competent, cost-effective care, support and training; the petition is available on AFA’s Web site at www.alzfdn.org.

In today’s testimony, Hall will urge Congress to increase the investment in preventing, treating or curing the “silver tsunami” of age-associated chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, calling it “perhaps the single most effective strategy in reducing national spending on health care.”

“Simply put, our nation does not have the luxury of time to wait to address the health research needs of this population,” Hall said.

Specifically, AFA is seeking $1.4 billion, an increase of $300 million, in the fiscal year 2012 National Institutes of Health budget for the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

On December 8, in his comments to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Hall similarly pressed for more federal investment in aging research and increased resources at NIA, as well as the need for caregiver support services and professional training.

He emphasized that organizations nationwide, including AFA’s 1,400+ member organizations, are absolutely engaged and forging ahead with care for the increased number of families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses.

“An enormous footprint is already present in our country and dedicated professionals are giving their blood for this cause,” Hall said. “But what we have now is not enough.”

Earlier this month, AFA held the nation’s first Alzheimer’s disease telethon to raise awareness of the disease and likewise highlight the urgency of the need for care and cure. The “Together for Care” telecast, which aired on December 4 on local NBC stations in 16 markets, is now available on AFA’s Web site.

Currently, an estimated 5.1 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and the incidence of the brain disorder is expected to skyrocket due largely to the aging population, including the first wave of baby boomers turning 65 next year. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor. The disease results in loss of memory and other intellectual function, and is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

 

December 7, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

More Celebrities Rally Behind Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s Successful Telethon
Athletes and Actors Urge Americans to Get Help, Share Tributes, Support the Cause

NEW YORK, NY— Building on the awareness raising of Alzheimer’s disease by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) successful “Together for Care” telethon last weekend, more leading celebrities are speaking out about the brain disorder and urging Americans to take advantage of as well as support programs and services nationwide.

Among them are two N.F.L. players who have experienced Alzheimer’s disease in their own families: Kirk Morrison of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kellen Winslow, Jr. of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Calls to action by these two athletes and more than a dozen actors and musicians are now posted on AFA’s Web site—www.alzfdn.org. The Web site also features the complete one-hour telecast of the “Together for Care” telethon and additional songs by the show’s musical performers—Kris Allen, Brett Eldredge, Shontelle and Wilson Phillips. The Wilson Phillips trio, who recently reunited to record their first-ever holiday CD, share the CD’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” on the Web site.

Marking the nation’s first-ever telethon for Alzheimer’s disease, AFA’s star-studded “Together for Care” event made its debut on local NBC stations in 16 major markets on December 4.

“With this telethon, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has successfully begun to change the face of Alzheimer's disease,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO. “Our message that it is time to lift the veil off Alzheimer’s disease has struck a chord with people across the country. They’ve been reaching out to AFA for help and donating to support the cause—and they have been infused with a new sense of hope.”

In his call to action, actor Louis Gossett, Jr., points out that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is a 24/7 responsibility—and “it’s hard.” He urges people to contact AFA to obtain “desperately needed support and assistance. Get help, or please, please, donate if you can.”

Winslow and his wife, Janelle, have focused their message on wandering—a problem that hit home when Janelle’s dad went missing for three long days last year. Luckily, her 69-year-old dad, Enrique “Henry” Guzman, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago, was found safe and sound.

The football player said he wanted to be part of the telethon in order to raise awareness and “give the people with this disease and their families a voice.”

“There are so many challenges caregivers face, like wandering, confusion, aggression and violence. But the message I would send to relatives of loved ones with Alzheimer's disease is not to give up on your relative, fight the disease with them. Hold on to all the memories you had when they were well,” he said.

For his message, Morrison chose to pay a heartfelt tribute to his grandmother, who he recently lost to Alzheimer’s disease. “I think about all the times that we had together…and how I loved her,” he said.

Other celebrities rallying behind the cause are Nate Berkus, Shawn Colvin, Ellen DeGeneres, Catherine Dent, The Doctors, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Judd, Sarah Lancaster, Mario Lopez, Shirley Jones, The Rockettes, Rob Thomas and Donald Trump.

Hosted by Al Roker of the “Today” show and led by actor Hector Elizondo, AFA’s honorary celebrity chairman, the show includes appearances by Scott Adsit, Lidia Bastianich, Joy Bauer, Nikki Blonsky, Katrina Bowden, Grizz Chapman, Hope Dworaczyk, Jill Eikenberg, Elmo, Steve Guttenberg, Carl Lewis, Natalie Morales, Michael Tucker and Wendy Williams. Shontelle sings her Billboard hit, “Impossible”; Kris Allen, winner of American Idol season 8, performs an acoustic version of his hit, “Live Like We’re Dying,” Wilson Phillips performs their legendary single, “Hold On”; and emerging country artist Brett Eldredge sings his powerful Top 40 single “Raymond,” which was inspired by his own grandmother’s memory loss.

AFA is encouraging the public to visit its Web site to view the telethon and related content, as well as to learn more about the disease and available resources. In addition, following Morrison’s lead, the public can post tributes to their own loved ones by sharing stories on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s facebook discussion page.

The public can still support the telethon by making a donation, participating in AFA’s online auction and buying telethon-related merchandise. For more information or to donate, visit www.alzfdn.org or call toll-free 866-232-8484.

Currently, an estimated 5.1 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The incidence is expected to skyrocket as the nation’s population ages. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual function, and is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

 

December 1, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Announces Celebrity Lineup on ‘Together for Care’ Telethon and Urges President Obama to Declare ‘Decade of Care’

NEW YORK, NY— The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is pressing to raise Alzheimer’s disease to an unprecedented level of awareness by holding the nation’s first Alzheimer’s disease telethon on December 4 and simultaneously calling on Americans to urge President Obama and Congress to declare a “decade of care.”

AFA’s “Together for Care” telethon rallies leading celebrities and media personalities around the cause to offer information and hope to families nationwide. Hosted by Al Roker of the “Today” show, the entertainment-packed and education-rich event will air on NBC local stations in 16 major markets along with NBC’s new 24-hour local lifestyle and news channel, Nonstop, in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. It will also be telecast online for national viewing at www.alzfdn.org.

AFA today announced the final lineup for the one-hour, star-studded telethon. Musical guests are Shontelle, singing her Billboard hit, “Impossible”; Kris Allen, winner of American Idol season 8, performing an acoustic version of his hit, “Live Like We’re Dying,” Wilson Phillips, who recently reunited to record their first-ever holiday CD and will perform their legendary single, “Hold On”; and emerging country artist Brett Eldredge, whose powerful Top 40 single “Raymond” was inspired by his own grandmother’s memory loss.

Led by actor Hector Elizondo, AFA’s honorary celebrity chairman, the show includes appearances by Scott Adsit, Lidia Bastianich, Joy Bauer, Nikki Blonsky, Katrina Bowden, Grizz Chapman, Hope Dworaczyk, Jill Eikenberg, Elmo, Steve Guttenberg, Carl Lewis, Natalie Morales, Michael Tucker and Wendy Williams. A roster of prominent celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres and Donald Trump, will present calls to action.

Coinciding with the Alzheimer’s disease telethon, AFA is encouraging Americans to sign a petition urging President Obama and Congress to declare a “decade of care” for individuals with dementia and their families.

“In the absence of a realistic short term prospect for a cure,” the petition calls for “creating a comprehensive strategy that includes competent, cost-effective care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and support and training for their family caregivers.” Specifically, it urges increased federal research funding, a national prevention and early detection plan, an expanded geriatrics workforce and training, creation of a seamless continuum of care, and training and respite care for family caregivers.

For details about the telethon, including show times, and to sign the petition, visit www.alzfdn.org.

“We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO. “Our hope is that these efforts will catapult the nation into realizing that Alzheimer’s disease is in the future for too many American families, and that now is the time for all of us to intensely focus on care and cure. This healthcare crisis must be a national priority.”

Currently, as many as 5.1 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions. AFA’s strategy comes as the nation braces for an expected onslaught of cases of Alzheimer’s disease as a result of the aging population, including the first wave of baby boomers who turn 65 next year. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the brain disorder, with the incidence of dementia doubling every five years beyond age 65. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The telethon will provide insight from experts into the current state of Alzheimer’s disease, and shed light on the daily challenges faced by families, including those caring for individuals with a rare form of the disease, called young onset, that affects people under age 65.

Hall said he is especially grateful for the generous involvement of celebrities, including many whose own family members have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

“Their desire to give back is heartwarming and reflects a growing recognition of the widespread impact of this disease,” he said.

Among the emotion-filled performances, Allen performs against a background of heartfelt quilts from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s Quilt to Remember.

“I felt privileged that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America asked me to be a part of the Together for Care telethon,” said Allen, whose cousin’s grandmother had the disease. “It is extremely heartbreaking for those diagnosed with this disease and their surrounding loved ones. I can only hope that my participation in this telethon will help raise awareness for such a worthy cause.”

For other celebrity participants, the cause also has personal significance. Actress and singer Shirley Jones sends out a compelling message to viewers, reminding them that “care makes all the difference.” Her “sweet aunt” had Alzheimer’s disease.

Noting her hopes for the telethon, she said, “The ‘objective’ of all ‘information exposure’ is to raise the public’s awareness of the topic—in this case, the total devastation that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis carries with it.”

In addition to watching the telethon, AFA is encouraging the public to get involved by sharing tributes to loved ones on AFA’s Facebook discussion page; bidding on items in AFA’s online auction; and purchasing telethon-related products available on its e-Store at www.alzfdn.org; among them, a T-shirt that spreads the message, “I Care.”

For more details about the telethon, including air times, visit www.alzfdn.org or call 866-232-8484. Eisai Inc., a human health care company, is the telethon’s platinum sponsor. The show is produced by Al Roker Entertainment.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

November 11, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer's Foundation of America to Hold National Memory Screening Day
Influx of Aging Baby Boomers Emphasizes Importance of Event

NEW YORK, NY— With memory concerns and successful aging major topics of concern for the aging population, especially as the first baby boomers turn 65 next year, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is answering the call by offering free, confidential memory screenings and educational materials about brain health during its 8th annual National Memory Screening Day (NMSD) on November 16.

AFA holds the initiative each November during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month as part of its overall strategy to promote early detection of memory problems and appropriate intervention. Most recently, AFA successfully advocated for inclusion of detection of any cognitive impairment in the annual wellness exam for Medicare beneficiaries that takes effect next year.

Qualified healthcare professionals will conduct the face-to-face screenings at more than 2,300 venues nationwide, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, assisted living facilities, pharmacies and libraries—including, for example, the landmark New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Several sites in major cities will offer screenings in Spanish. In addition, all 1,006 Kmart pharmacies will offer memory screenings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of the chain’s Senior Health Event.

To locate a screening site, visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org or call 866-AFA-8484.

The screening consists of a series of questions and tasks to test memory, language skills and other intellectual functions, and takes about five minutes to administer. The results do not represent a diagnosis, and screeners encourage individuals with below-normal scores as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical exam.

“If you notice memory problems, don’t be afraid to take steps to find out what’s really going on,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer. “Our efforts to highlight the importance of being proactive about memory concerns and the value of early detection are resonating across the nation. We’re going to keep building on this momentum.”

Actor Hector Elizondo, AFA’s honorary celebrity chairman, is also encouraging people to get screened.
“Memory screenings can point you in the right direction. Take the results and start talking with your healthcare professional—sooner rather than later,” said Elizondo, whose mother had Alzheimer’s disease.

AFA suggests memory screenings for adults concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; or who believe they are at risk due to a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness. Screenings also are appropriate for those who do not have a concern right now, but who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons.

In a report, “Memory Matters,” released in December 2008, AFA underscored the value of memory screenings, noting that current research supports screening as a “safe, cost-efficient intervention that can reassure the healthy individual, promote successful aging and, when indicated, direct individuals to appropriate clinical resources.”

Other AFA studies also support the need for earlier detection of memory problems. One survey showed that individuals waited as long as six years from the time they recognized symptoms of dementia to when they sought a diagnosis. In addition, a large percentage of past NMSD participants reported that they had memory concerns but had not expressed them to healthcare professionals despite recent visits.

Memory problems could be caused by Alzheimer's disease or other medical conditions. Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other member problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer's disease.

It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, which causes loss of memory and other intellectual functions. With age the greatest known risk factor, the incidence of the disease doubles every five years between 65 and 95.

Supporting the event this year are 25 major professional and trade groups, including organizations such as the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Forest Laboratories is the silver sponsor, and Novartis is the remembrance sponsor of this year’s event.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

November 11, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America ‘Together for Care’ Telethon to Include Leading Celebrities
Wilson Phillips Reunites on Stage to Help Rally Nation to Address Health Crisis

NEW YORK, NY— In tribute to their own loved ones or other individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease, leading celebrities will unite around this looming health crisis by participating in the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)’s “Together for Care” telethon on December 4.

Al Roker of the “Today” show will serve as host, and actor Hector Elizondo, AFA’s honorary celebrity chairman, will help to educate the public about the disease that took his mother’s life.

Performances will include the ladies of Wilson Phillips, who recently reunited to record their first-ever holiday CD, “Christmas in Harmony.” Mixing brand new and classic, the vocal trio will usher in the holidays with a song from their latest album, as well as perform “Hold On,” the harmony-rich hit from their first album that sounds a symbolic message for the telethon.

Among other performers, country music artist Brett Eldredge will bring home the reality of Alzheimer’s disease when he sings his new single “Raymond”—with heartfelt lyrics inspired by his own grandmother’s memory loss.

Also lending their support will be Scott Adsit, Grizz Chapman and Katrina Bowden of the NBC sitcom “30 Rock,” “Today” show co-anchor Natalie Morales and nutrition contributor Joy Bauer, talk show host Wendy Williams, actor Steve Guttenberg, and actress and singer Nikki Blonsky. Additional celebrities will be announced shortly.

The show is designed to entertain and educate viewers, heighten awareness of the urgency of care and cure, and raise funds to meet the needs of the growing number of people with the brain disorder, especially as the first wave of baby boomers turn 65 next year. It will air in 16 major markets on NBC and be telecast online on AFA’s Web site for national viewing.

The telethon will provide insight from experts into the current state of Alzheimer’s disease, and shed light on the daily challenges faced by families impacted by the disease.

“Alzheimer’s disease is hitting home more and more each day, and with each case, the need for resources becomes that much more urgent,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO. “We must motivate the nation to pay attention and to pitch in. This healthcare crisis must be a national priority.”

In addition to watching the telethon, AFA is encouraging the public to get involved by sharing tributes to loved ones on AFA’s Facebook discussion page, and initiating community and corporate fundraising projects. AFA has also unveiled a line of telethon-related products available on its e-Store at www.alzfdn.org; among them, a T-shirt that spreads the message, “I Care.”

For more details about the telethon, including air times, visit www.alzfdn.org or call 866-232-8484. Eisai Inc., a human health care company, is the telethon’s platinum sponsor. The show is being produced by Al Roker Entertainment.

With an estimated 5.1 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the telethon comes as the nation braces for an escalating incidence of the brain disorder due largely to the aging population. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor. The disease results in loss of memory and other intellectual function, and is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

November 8, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s National Commemorative Candle Lighting to Honor Individuals Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease

NEW YORK, NY —When Lynn Pearson of Titusville, FL lights a candle to honor her sister on November 14, she’ll be joining thousands of families across the nation whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease—families who are coming together in spirit to take part in the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) National Commemorative Candle Lighting.

AFA sponsors the annual event, now in its eighth year, as part of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Community groups and individuals will host hundreds of inspirational ceremonies around the country on that day. To find a site, visit www.candlelighting.org or call 866-232-8484.
For Pearson, the candle lighting is both a way to pay tribute to her sister, Laine Myers, who was only 48 when she passed away as a result of Alzheimer’s disease in 2004, and to bring the community together. Pearson will host the local ceremony at The Place at Merritt Island Assisted Living in Merritt Island, FL to deliver what she hopes will be a powerful message to families affected by Alzheimer’s disease: You are not alone.

“My hope is to fill the acreage in front of the building with people lighting candles, and that the vision of all those people standing together will provide a memory,” said Pearson, who is the facility’s director of community relations.

Pearson’s goal is shared by others who are organizing the local candle lighting ceremonies, said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer.

“These ceremonies provide a way for people touched by the disease to find comfort in togetherness. They show individuals with the disease, their caregivers and their families that they have the support of their communities,” he said.

Also in its efforts to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and year-round, AFA will sponsor National Memory Screening Day on November 16 and its inaugural “Together for Care” telethon on December 4. For more information about these events, visit www.alzfdn.org.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease that destroys memory and other intellectual abilities, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Currently, it affects as many as 5.1 million Americans, and the incidence is expected to rise in line with the nation’s aging population. Advanced age is the greatest risk factor, although some people are diagnosed with the disease under age 65.

The candle lighting ceremonies across the country will feature a candle lighting and a reading of the names of local residents who had or have Alzheimer’s disease. Some communities will add their own touches, such as poetry readings or choir music, and some houses of worship will incorporate ceremonies into their regular weekend prayer services.

The Merritt Island ceremony exemplifies the effort organizers like Pearson put into coordinating their local events. Pearson has reached out to organizations and leaders throughout her community to provide resources and information at the ceremony. Rosemary Laird, M.D., director of the Health First Aging Institute in Rockledge, FL, will be the keynote speaker; Ann Taylor Owen, a chaplain with Wuesthoff Brevard Hospice, will conduct the ceremony; and local musicians will perform “Where You’ve Been,” a heartrending song by country music star Kathy Mattea, whose mother had Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

November 3, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to Introduce Free Memory Screenings in Spanish
Higher Risk for Latinos Emphasizes Importance of National Memory Screening Day Event

NEW YORK, NEW YORK— The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) in collaboration with the Latino Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Alliance, Mexican Consulate and major hospitals will offer free, confidential memory screenings in Spanish in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York on various dates in November.

The events are part of AFA’s National Memory Screening Day, which it holds during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month each November as part of its overall strategy to promote early detection of memory problems and appropriate intervention. Its 8th National Memory Screening Day is November 16, although some sites offer the screenings on other days.

This year, in addition to sites offering screenings in English, AFA hopes to reach the underserved Hispanic/Latino population by providing screenings and educational materials that are in Spanish and culturally-sensitive, and by holding the event at familiar settings and in partnership with local organizations that serve this community.

The Spanish initiative comes in response to an increasing incidence of Alzheimer’s disease among Hispanics/Latinos due to greater risk factors and the projected growth of those aged 65 and older from 2.7 million in 2008 to more than 17 million by 2050. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the brain disorder, which causes loss of memory and other intellectual function and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

In Los Angeles, the Mexican Consulate will hold screenings in partnership with UCLA Easton Center on November 6 from 8 a.m. to noon at the consulate. In Chicago, the Alivio Medical Center will administer screenings on November 17 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at its facility; the Mexican Consulate, November 18 and 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the consulate; the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, November 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Villa Guadalupe Senior Services; and Sinai Health System, November 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sinai Community Institute. In New York, the Mexican Consulate, with participation from NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, will provide screenings on November 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the consulate. For more details, visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.

Qualified healthcare professionals will conduct the face-to-face screenings, which consist of questions and tasks to test memory, language skills and other intellectual functions, and takes about five minutes to administer. The results do not represent a diagnosis, and screeners encourage individuals with below-normal scores as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical exam.

Participants will receive educational materials about memory issues, successful aging and caregiving, and referrals to community resources and AFA’s bilingual social workers for follow up.

“AFA and its partnering organizations all share a passion to help the Hispanic/Latino population better understand memory problems and to encourage them to be proactive about any concerns. It’s time for all of us to talk openly about this issue,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO.

Actor Hector Elizondo, AFA’s honorary celebrity chairman, is also encouraging people to get screened.
“Memory screenings can point you in the right direction. Take the results and start talking with your healthcare professional—sooner rather than later,” said Elizondo, whose mother had Alzheimer’s disease.
AFA surveys support the need for education about Alzheimer’s disease, especially among minority populations. One survey found that 67 percent of Hispanic caregivers dismissed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as “old age,” which contributed to a delay in diagnosis.

Memory problems could be caused by Alzheimer's disease or other medical conditions. Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other member problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Forest Laboratories is the silver sponsor and Novartis is the remembrance sponsor of this year’s National Memory Screening Day.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

October 14 , 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE CAREGIVERS IDENTIFY MEMORY LOSS, PERSONAL SAFETY AND CONFUSION AS TOP THREE CONCERNS RELATED TO PROGRESSION OF THEIR LOVE ONE'S DISEASE.
-- National Survey Co-Sponsored by Alzheimer’s Foundation of America , Eisai and Pfizer Sheds Light on Difficulties Faced by America’s Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers --

Woodcliff Lake, N.J., and New York, October 14, 2010 ― Results announced today from a  national survey of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) caregivers found that memory loss and confusion, which are cognitive symptoms, in addition to personal safety are the greatest concerns related to the progression of their loved one’s AD. In fact, 67 percent of AD caregivers surveyed sa id changes in cognitive symptoms were among their main concerns . The survey of 524 non-professional caregivers, which was conducted by Harris Interactive in September 2010 for Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), provides insight into the current state of caring for a loved one with AD in the United States.

“These survey results reveal the changes in cognition as the disease progresses were an important concern among caregivers,” said Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of AFA. “ We encourage caregivers and health care professionals to discuss these changes and any others during regular visits.”

As AD – a progressive brain disease typically characterized by three stages:  mild, moderate and severe – changes over time, caregivers and their healthcare professionals may wish to regularly discuss modifications in lifestyle and treatment. According to the survey, the majority of AD caregivers are proactive participants in the dialogue and decision-making around their loved one’s disease, and 75 percent of those surveyed were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the communication they have with their loved one’s health care professional.  For the remaining 25 percent (who are either “somewhat” or “not at all satisfied”), there may be room for improvement in this dialogue. 

“AD caregivers are typically the first to notice when their loved one’s symptoms are becoming worse and whether the disease may be progressing to the next stage, which is why caregivers are essential partners in disease management discussions,” said Barry W. Rovner, M.D., director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and professor in the departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University , Philadelphia . “In the face of this devastating chronic and progressive disease, it is important for AD caregivers to know about the available educational resources, support networks and treatments in order to enhance these discussions at all stages of the disease.”

Key Survey Findings

Following are results illustrating the difficulties faced by caregivers, concerns about disease progression and discussions with health care professionals, highlighting differences between men and women. Of note, 173 males and 351 females were surveyed, which is reflective of the overall unpaid AD caregiver population, in which caregivers are more likely to be female.

 Difficulties Faced by Caregivers

Concerns About Disease Progression

Discussions with Health Care Professionals


Additional information about AD and caregiver resources can be found at www.alzfdn.org.


Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive in September 2010 for Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc in partnership with AFA. A total of 524 non-professional adult AD caregivers, including those of mild, moderate and severe AD patients, were surveyed. Caregivers were asked to classify the stage of their loved one’s AD, as identified by their loved one’s health care professional. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. non-professional AD caregiver population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A full methodology is available. Funding was provided by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc.

About AD

AD is a degenerative disease of the brain that gets worse over time and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Right now, as many as 5.1 million Americans age 65 and older have AD, with 3.6 million of those having moderate-to-severe disease. As our population ages – including the first wave of baby boomers turning 65 in 2011 – the disease may impact a greater percentage of Americans. The number of people aged 65 and older may more than double between 2010 and 2050; likewise, those 85 and older may rise three-fold. As the number of people with AD increases, it is likely that the number of caregivers will increase as well.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 1,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Eisai Inc.

Eisai Inc. was established in 1995 and is ranked among the top 20 U.S. pharmaceutical companies (based on retail sales). The company began marketing its first product in the United States in 1997 and has rapidly grown to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with fiscal year 2009 (year ended March 31, 2010) sales of approximately $3.9 billion. Eisai’s areas of commercial focus include neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. The company serves as the U.S. pharmaceutical operation of Eisai Co., Ltd.

Eisai has a global product creation organization that includes U.S.-based R&D facilities in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. The company’s areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs. For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com.

Eisai Co., Ltd.

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide healthcare system. Eisai employs approximately 11,000 employees worldwide.

Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world ™

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.


Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

 

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York whose mission is to provide optimal care and services to individuals with dementia, and their families. It unites more than 1,400 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional and practical needs of families in their local communities. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

October 4 , 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to Hold Inaugural ‘Together for Care’ Telethon
Historic TV Event Aimed at Rallying Nation to Address Health Crisis


Alzheimer’s Foundation of America CEO Eric J. Hall (l) and actor Hector Elizondo announce Dec. 4 “Together for Care” Telethon. Click here to view multimedia news release.

NEW YORK, NY The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) will host an inaugural “Together for Care” telethon on December 4, marking the major focus of a comprehensive campaign by AFA to rally the nation to address this escalating health crisis and prepare to care for the projected surge in the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease in addition to the millions of families currently affected by it.

The historic TV event will air in 16 major markets on NBC and be telecast online on AFA’s Web site for national viewing, and feature a mix of education and entertainment. Al Roker of the “Today” show, who will serve as host, and actor Hector Elizondo, AFA’s honorary celebrity chairman, lead the show’s celebrity lineup.

“Now is the time to lift the veil off Alzheimer’s disease. Now is the time to galvanize the nation to make giant strides toward tackling this health crisis,” said Eric J. Hall, founding president and chief executive officer of AFA, a leading national nonprofit organization.

“While we all anxiously await a cure, care is all families can hold on to right now. Only by being proactive can we give them what they need to get through the day—and to have one more day with their loved ones,” Hall said.

Roker said he hopes the telethon “raises the nation’s consciousness about Alzheimer’s disease to a whole new level. The disease is getting way too big for us not to come together and make a difference.”

To shed light on Alzheimer’s disease, the telethon will include a look at the current state of Alzheimer’s disease from the perspective of medical experts and families who are caring for loved ones. Other celebrities and musical guests will be announced shortly.

For more details about the telethon, including air times, visit www.alzfdn.org or call 866-232-8484. Eisai Inc., a human health care company, is the telethon’s platinum sponsor. The show is being produced by Al Roker Entertainment.

The telethon kicks off AFA’s campaign to rally the nation “together for care.” AFA is urging the nation to advocate for more resources for care and cure, donate to support AFA’s services and initiatives nationwide, and seek assistance, including calling its toll-free hot line and obtaining free memory screenings on National Memory Screening Day on November 16.

With an estimated 5.1 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the call to action comes as the nation’s aging population, including the oldest baby boomers who turn 65 next year, is projected to fuel what some experts have dubbed a “silver tsunami.” Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor. The disease results in loss of memory and other intellectual function and is now the sixth leading cause of death.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York whose mission is to provide optimal care and services to individuals with dementia, and their families. It unites more than 1,400 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional and practical needs of families in their local communities. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

August 9, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Updates Teleconference for Dementia Caregivers

NEW YORK, NY — To meet the growing needs of the dementia community, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has updated its free, educational teleconference service to encourage both family members and professionals caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness to take advantage of its expert presentations and support network.

Called Care Connection, the teleconference will now include presentations about dementia that will interest both family and professional caregivers, and it will be held duringa time that should appeal to both audiences.It links up to 150 caregivers from anywhere in the country for each one-hour session.

Under the new format, AFA will now host Care Connection on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, beginning August 12. Caregivers can call in toll-free at 877-232-2992; the guest identification number is 271004#. AFA will archive sessions on its Web site at www.alzfdn.org.

On August 12, Eboni Green, RN, Ph.D., executive director of Caregiver Support Services, Omaha, NE, will discuss practical solutions for stressed out caregivers. On September 9, Marianne Terry, LSW, director of the Time Out Adult Day Center-Succasunna & Madison, Family Service of Morris County, Morristown, NJ, will provide activity ideas. And, on October 14, Roy Herndon Smith, Ph.D., coordinator of Community Geriatric Care Management, New York, NY, will outline ways to communicate with individuals as their functions decline. A detailed calendar is available at www.alzfdn.org.

A member of AFA’s social work team will facilitate each session and encourage call-in participants to pose questions to the experts as well as share their own experiences in a supportive environment.
“The needs of both family and professional caregivers are continuing to shift and evolve, but one thing remains clear: education and support are vital. Care Connection provides a valuable resource to help them on their caregiving journey,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer.

By shifting the service from the evening to the afternoon, family caregivers may be able to more easily participate while their loved ones are attending adult day centers or other respite programs, and organizations may encourage their healthcare employees to participate as a part of job training.

For family caregivers, Care Connection fills a growing need for alternate types of support services, especially for caregivers whose round-the-clock responsibilities prevent them from attending on-site sessions or interacting in person with other caregivers.

By participating in Care Connection, professional caregivers can keep up to date with the latest interventions to help care for clients. For those professionals qualified by AFA’s membership and training division, Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA), each session will count as one hour of training toward credits required to renew their DCPA status.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and their families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, counseling by licensed social workers, educational materials, training for healthcare professionals, and a free caregiver magazine. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

July 21, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Releases New DVD on Preventing Falls

NEW YORK, NY — The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) recently released “Preventing Falls: Practical Steps to Reduce Fears and Risks,” the latest DVD in AFA’s “Your Time to Care” series of educational programs for family caregivers, in the hopes of helping caregivers reduce their own risk of falls and prevent their loved ones from falling.

Falls are a very common and life-threatening occurrence and are particularly worrisome for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder that primarily affects people older than 65. In fact, according to federal government statistics, o ne out of three individuals over the age of 65 will experience a fall, resulting in 20,000 deaths annually.

“What's really important to know is that a fall is preventable,” said Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D., one of the experts featured in the DVD and director of the Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

With this in mind, “Preventing Falls” provides insight into why dementia intensifies the incidence of falls and offers practical strategies from experts and family caregivers on how to reduce risk factors, including communication techniques, home modifications and lifestyle changes.

Among the caregivers who share their concerns, Judy Earnest provides care for her 85-year-old mother who has Alzheimer’s disease; she is worried that her mother’s gradual loss of coordination and balance will lead to a devastating fall and that that may prompt Earnest to break her promise to keep her mom at home.

“She's never really been steady on her feet, but more so I think is, is her not realizing she can't do all the things she ever did,” said Earnest . “ I just don’t want her to get hurt.”

In the DVD, P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., co- author of “The Alzheimer’s Action Plan,” noted that dementia very often affects coordination and balance as it progresses. “Cognitive impairment substantially increases the risk for falls anywhere from about two to eight fold,” he said.

The DVD, which was funded in part with a grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, is available on AFA’s E-store at www.alzfdn.org or by calling 866-232-8484. Other topics in the “Your Time to Care” DVD series include wandering and medication management.

Alzheimer’s disease results in loss of memory and other cognitive functions, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated one to four caregivers care for each person with the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization based in New York City that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and their families, and unites 1,400 member organizations nationwide that provide hands-on programs. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line with counseling by licensed social workers, a free caregiver magazine, and National Memory Screening Day. For information, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

June 21, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to Host Educational Conferences in North Carolina

NEW YORK, NY — North Carolina’s older population with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias is on the threshold of a boom: it is expected to increase by 59 percent between now and 2030. Recognizing this, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) will host free care-focused conferences for family caregivers on August 6 in Charlotte and on August 7 in Raleigh.

During each of AFA’s “Concepts in Care” conferences, P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., chief of the Division of Biological Psychiatry at the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, and the author of “The Alzheimer’s Action Plan,” will provide an understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of early detection and treatment.

Other experts will offer hands-on strategies to positively address behavioral challenges and activities of daily living. Ann Louise Barrick, Ph.D., director of psychology at Central Regional Hospital, Butner, NC, and author of “Bathing Without a Battle,” will present in Charlotte; and Teepa Snow, a dementia care training specialist and a consulting associate at the Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, will present in Raleigh.

In addition, AFA will offer confidential memory screenings and the Virtual Dementia Tour, an interactive tool developed by Second Wind Dreams that helps people better understand what it feels like to have dementia. These activities will be available free to conference attendees and the general public throughout the day.

The conference also includes breakfast and lunch, as well as respite care for individuals with dementia while their family members attend the conference.

The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 6 at the Hilton Charlotte City Center, 222 E. Third St. in Charlotte, and on August 7 at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown, 3415 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. The conference is sponsored by Accera, Inc .

For more information or to register, please call 866-AFA-8484.

Currently, more than 170,000 older adults in North Carolina have Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, and the number is projected to rise to more than 288,000 in the next two decades, according to the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services. The progressive brain disorder results in loss of memory and other intellectual function, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

“Nothing in life can really prepare someone to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why education is so important,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer. “By understanding the disease and learning practical care strategies, family members can better meet a person’s individual needs and improve quality of life.”

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of more than 1,400 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional and practical needs of families. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

 

CONTACT:  CAROL STEINBERG

866-AFA-8484   media@alzfdn.org

June 1, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dementia Caregivers Can Connect Weekly via Phone Support Network

NEW YORK, NY — Many caregivers caught up in the day-to-day challenges of caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or related illnesses find it hard, if not impossible, to leave home to attend support groups or workshops to get the answers to their caregiving questions. For them, a viable alternative is Care Connection—a free telephone support service for caregivers of individuals with dementia sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) and Ask Dr. Jamie.

The weekly, interactive service is a blend of coaching, presentations by experts and discussion. It links up to 150 caregivers from anywhere in the country for each one-hour session, and is hosted by Jamie Rotnofsky, a psychologist and professional life coach.

Care Connection is held each Thursday night at 9 pm Eastern Time. Caregivers can call in toll-free at 877-232-2992; the guest identification number is 271004#.

Each session addresses medical, social, emotional and practical issues with a dementia specific slant. For example, on June 10, Paulette D. Cranwell, a nurse consultant with TIME OUT Morris View, Morristown, NJ, will discuss ways to decrease hospital admissions. On June 24, G. Allen Power, M.D., will talk about “Dementia Beyond Drugs: Changing the Culture of Care”—the title of his new book.
Care Connection fills a growing need for alternate types of support services, especially for caregivers whose round-the-clock responsibilities prevent them from attending on-site sessions or interacting in person with other caregivers.

“Caregivers need knowledge and support to cope with daily challenges. It’s comforting for them to know that they can get this type of help and peer support without having to leave their living rooms,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer.

The two organizations opted for a telephone support network versus an Internet chat room, in part to accommodate caregivers who are not computer savvy. Archived sessions, however, are available online.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and their families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, counseling by licensed social workers, educational materials, training for healthcare professionals, and a free caregiver magazine. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Ask Dr Jamie is a professional coaching and psychotherapy service that assists individuals and organizations in focusing on doing things differently to achieve real results. Its services include professional education, one-on-one coaching, tele-classes and psychotherapy. For more information, call toll-free 800-927-7930 or visit www.askdrjamie.net.

 

CONTACT:  CAROL STEINBERG

866-AFA-8484   media@alzfdn.org