Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Alzheimer's Association Response

We strive to be a resource that individuals and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s can turn to whenever they need help. Our national offices in Chicago and Washington, D. C. work in conjunction with chapter affiliates across the country to serve the needs of those who are impacted by Alzheimer’s......
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Greater Reading Room Community,

First, thanks for your comments and for the opportunity to outline some of our programs and services. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to providing families with information and support, and we want to hear your feedback. To reach me directly, e-mail info@alz.org and include ATTENTION BETH KALLMYER in the subject line. I will personally respond to your comments and welcome your thoughts.

We strive to be a resource that individuals and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s can turn to whenever they need help. Our national offices in Chicago and Washington, D. C. work in conjunction with chapter affiliates across the country to serve the needs of those who are impacted by Alzheimer’s.

For those online, www.alz.org provides evidence-based content, up-to-date information and an online community to nearly 20,000 visitors every day. Beyond this community, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 for those who are more comfortable speaking with masters-level care consultants via the phone. Those looking for a more intimate community can find it through one of our 7,000 support groups that help caregivers and those living with the disease.

For people who are online, like all of you in the Reading Room community, www.alz.org is a rich resource of information. The Association hosts message boards for people to ask a question or seek support. This year we launched the peer volunteer program, a method of providing additional mentoring and assistance within an online community. These peer volunteers are caregivers and people with Alzheimer’s disease. This effort complements our broader social networking efforts through Facebook [Alzheimer’s Association] and Twitter [@alzassociation], as well as our chapter pages that provide local updates.

As the Alzheimer’s epidemic increases, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to educating families and providing resources and tools. These include CareSource, a suite of free, online tools assisting caregivers with challenges ranging from managing stress to researching housing. Launched last week, the new Alzheimer’s Association Comfort Zone™, powered by Omnilink, is the first GPS-based system designed specifically for Alzheimer’s location management, giving people with the disease more freedom and independence while providing their family some peace of mind.

In addition to providing care and support to those impacted by Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to advancing research toward treatment, prevention and a cure.

Knowing that other funding sources are limited, the Alzheimer’s Association makes research a focus. Since awarding our first grants in 1982, the Association has committed more than $265 million to 1,800 best-of-field proposals. In our role as a catalyst for scientific progress, we have been a part of every major Alzheimer’s research advance in the past three decades.

To facilitate the important breakthroughs needed in the field of Alzheimer’s research, the Association fosters a collegial network for the scientific community. These efforts include hosting the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, a forum that connects the world’s leading Alzheimer scientists to learn, teach and share cutting-edge information.

With the goal of supporting families and advancing research, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to helping individual voices be heard by state and national elected officials. Annually, our Alzheimer’s Association Action Summit in Washington, D.C. includes representation from 600 advocates and 49 states – and it continues to grow. Together, we lobby for additional funding for research and are gaining momentum in our efforts to get the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act passed in the 111th Congress.

These are just a handful of the services and efforts put forth by the Alzheimer’s Association to make an impact. To provide these initiatives, we rely on the support of generous volunteers, donors and corporate partners. We allocate our funds in an ethical and responsible manner that exceeds the standers of America’s most experienced charity evaluator, the Better Business Bureau.

We invite members of the Reading Room community to explore our resources.

Sincere regards,

Beth Kallmyer, MSW
Director of Family and Information Services
Alzheimer’s Association National Office




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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for news, advice, and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob has written more than 800 articles with more than 18,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room