Helpline – Did You Know?
AFA Helpline social workers pride themselves on spending as much time helping and listening as a caller needs—the record for a single Helpline call is over two hours long. Connect with AFA Helpline Licensed Social Workers here.
When Alzheimer’s disease enters your life, it’s impossible to be prepared. Living with Alzheimer’s disease or caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s comes with a variety of emotions, stresses, and questions that can change as the disease progresses. Having a trusted place to turn to get help in these situations is critical.
A family caregiver founded AFA to ensure other families always had somewhere to turn for help with these types of issues—something which did not exist when his mother lived with the disease. To help carry out this vision, AFA launched a national telephone number, staffed by licensed social workers, to provide guidance, answers, and compassionate support, as well as connect callers with local resources in their community.
When AFA first opened its doors in 2002, its Toll-Free Hotline (now known as the Helpline), was available during business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, to answer questions as basic as “What do I do now?” and “Where do I go for help?” to more in-depth concerns about behavior, stress, and care planning. Over the years, this important support service expanded significantly. As AFA grew, evening hours were added—because Alzheimer’s doesn’t just impact families during regular business hours. Saturday hours followed, and, ultimately, the Helpline became the seven-days-a-week resource it is today. Technological advances enabled the Helpline to serve families in additional ways beyond just the telephone—Skype, webchat, and text messages. One of the most significant changes to the Helpline took place in February 2020, with the implementation of a new multilingual chat feature enabling non-English speaking individuals to access support in their primary language through webchat and text message. Through this feature, people who speak Spanish, Chinese, French and 90 other languages can chat in real time with an AFA Helpline social worker. Questions and answers are translated instantly, ensuring that language is not a barrier to much needed support. Since its inception two decades ago, the Helpline has provided hundreds of thousands of minutes of support to people in their time of need—over 38,000 minutes in 2021 alone. It’s here for you, too, if you need it—just reach out!
FREQUENTLY ASKED AFA HELPLINE QUESTIONS
• How can I get my loved one to a medical provider when I can see significant cognitive decline, and they are resistant to going?
• My loved one insists on driving though he/she gets lost frequently and is becoming a hazard on the road. What can I do?
• What are things we can do to make the transition to assisted living/memory care easier?
• My loved one refuses to take a shower. What can I do?
• Where can I find a caregiver support group?
• Why does my person say they want to go home when they are already home? How can I address this?
• My loved one is unable to manage their finances anymore. What steps can I take?
“During the Coronavirus pandemic, I often felt alone and invisible. Thank you AFA for helping me give the best care possible to my loved one—while taking care of myself.” —David J., Caregiver