Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Alzheimer’s Association: 4 Kinds of Programs for Family Caregivers of People with Alzheimer’s disease

Helping a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease perform basic activities of daily living is a very 
demanding task. It entails a lot of sacrifice – financial, physical and mental – on the part of family caregivers. It becomes even more difficult when the disease worsens, because family caregivers do not only have to provide long term care, they also have to put up with the behavioral changes that come with the disease. Fortunately, there are organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association that lends a helping hand and provide long term care solutions for family caregivers of AD patients.

The Alzheimer’s Association is a non-profit organization that finances projects and studies that aim to find a cure for the illness, among others. It also provides care, guidance and support to AD patients and their family caregivers. Below are some of the programs they have established.

1.     Alzheimer’s Navigator – A free online tool that helps AD patients and their caregivers develop a personalized action plans to improve caregiving practices. 

2.     Comfort Zone, MedicAlert + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Run – These are location management help lines for AD patients who wander around.

3.     Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center – Provides useful and comprehensive information about the right way to take care of an AD patient.

4.     24/7 Helpline – An online tool that gives feedback for family caregivers with immediate concerns. It accommodates at least 250,000 callers per year.

5.     Support Groups – The Alzheimer’s Association has over 4,500 support groups all over the country. The groups provide peer to peer and professional counseling. Message boards and online chat rooms were created to make coordination and communication easier.

6.     Local Chapters – The Alzheimer’s Association also have 75 local chapters spread out all over America.

7.     Fund Raising Campaigns – The organization also launches fund raising campaigns such as the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” Proceeds are used to fund their support services and researches.

Family caregivers of AD patients are encouraged to join the organization. Caregiving can be difficult, but caregivers don’t have to do it alone. 

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