Today, an estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's ,the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed, and as many as 16 million will have the disease by 2050. In Alabama, there are currently over 94,000 individuals aged 65 and older along with their 304,000 caregivers facing this tragic disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Free Care and Support Programs:
The Alzheimer’s Association’s care and support programs have helped thousands to face the challenges of Alzheimer’s with confidence and live their best life possible with the disease. Our comprehensive programs and services, which are provided throughout all 67 counties in Alabama, include:
• Information and assistance via our 24/7 Helpline - Available by calling 800.272.3900, the Helpline provides callers with decision-making support, crisis assistance, and education on issues they encounter throughout the progression of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Master’s level counselors are available to talk with families at their time of need, day or night. Callers are referred to additional Alzheimer’s Association programs and support, as well as available community resources. The Helpline is a free resource that people may turn to once or multiple times throughout the progression of the disease.
• Support groups – Trained volunteer facilitators lead approximately 23 dementia-specific support groups throughout Alabama that provide a safe, supportive environment for families. Many caregivers are so overwhelmed by taking care of their loved one that they neglect their own physical, mental and emotional well-being. Support groups build confidence, develop new competencies, and teach coping strategies that can reduce caregiver stress and improve outcomes for the caregiver and care recipient. The majority of support groups are for family caregivers, however, we offer a smaller number of groups for people in the early stages of dementia. In-person as well as telephone support groups are offered.
• Care Consultation – Rated by caregivers as our number-one offering, personalized, in-depth care consultations are provided for individuals and families managing complex dementia concerns. Together with clients, our Care Consultants co-create care plans tailored to the family’s unique needs; build understanding and awareness of disease progression and future needs for the person with dementia; develop strategies for the best possible symptom management; and implement self-care for caregivers. Care Consultations are available by telephone or in-person.
• Safety Planning- Safety is important for everyone, but the need for a comprehensive safety plan is particularly important for a person living with Alzheimer’s as the disease progresses. Alzheimer’s causes a number of changes in the brain and body that may affect judgement, sense of time & place, behaviors, physical ability and/or senses. Taking measures to improve safety can prevent injuries and help a person feel more relaxed, less overwhelmed and maintain his or her independence longer. The Alzheimer’s Association helps families to address safety in the home, wandering, driving, traveling and emergency preparedness. We also partner with MedicAlert SafeReturn, a nationwide identification program that provides assistance when someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia wanders and becomes lost.
• Community Outreach and Education – Education and outreach programs build awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and the availability of resources offered by the Alzheimer’s Association and community partners. Whether someone has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, provides care for someone with dementia or works as a First Responder or health care professional, they may have many questions about the complexity of the disease. Community presentations are dementia-specific and offer a variety of classes, trainings and educational resources for family caregivers, people with the disease and professionals. Topics include “Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia”, “10 Warning Signs: Early Detection Matters.”, “Legal and Financial Planning”, and “Effective Communication Strategies.”