January 1st, 2011 at 3:12 am
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Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Offer Unique Help

by Carol Bursack

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America are organizations that help people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers receive education and support throughout the Alzheimer’s journey. Both, of course, champion ongoing hope that through research, the disease will one day be conquered.

Meanwhile, millions of people live with the disease, and millions more are affected because someone they love has Alzheimer’s disease. Spouse and adult children are generally first line caregivers, at least in the beginning stages.

While in-person support groups can be vital to many people, and online support is available through many sites and forums, these organizations each sponsor a unique way to help people via telephone.

The Alzheimer’s Association Helpline is Open 24/7

According to the Alzheimer’s Association Web site (www.alz.org), The Alzheimer’s Association Helpline provides information and support to all those who need assistance with dementia and Alzheimer’s issues. You can call toll-free anytime, day or night, at (800) 272-3900. The 24/7 Helpline serves people with memory loss, and their caregivers, health care professionals and other people interested in the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association trains their staff to help people understand memory loss, medications and other treatment options, general information about aging and brain health, skills to provide quality care and to find the best care from professionals, and legal, financial and living-arrangement decisions.

The site also features, “Confidential care consultation provided by master’s level clinicians who can help with decision-making support, crisis assistance and education on issues families face every day, help in a caller’s preferred language using our translation service that features over 140 languages and dialects and referrals to local community programs, services and ongoing support. The phone number is (800) 272-3900. TDD: (866) 403-3073.”

The 24/7 Helpline is supported in part by a grant from the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Care Connection Provides Support

You also may want to join Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org) telephone support network calls on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. This service is called “Care Connection.” Dial toll-free (877)232-2992 and, when prompted, enter the Guest ID: 271004#. For schedules and further details on Care Connection, call the AFA or visit the Web site at www.alzfdn.org/AFAServices/careconnection.html.

Both of these organizations are helpful with general information on Alzheimer’s and memory loss, as well as specific questions. Browse their Web sites and try these care options. In general, the more support and information we have, the better we cope.

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