a loved one has alzheimer’s disease … now what? alzheimer’s foundation of america’s national toll-free helpline offers support, education
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it can be confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing optimal care and services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, encourages individuals to reach out for support and education. The organization offers a national, toll-free helpline that is staffed by licensed social workers from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, providing assistance in English and Spanish.
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in persons 65 and older, is a progressive brain disorder that results in loss of memory and other cognitive functions. It is estimated that more than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and the number is projected to nearly triple by mid-century. It is the sixth leading cause of death for American adults and age (65+) is the best-known risk factor for the disease. To date, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
“Caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are faced with so many challenges,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, president and chief executive officer for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. “Many are caring for children as well as a parent or spouse who has the disease. Education and support are critical in navigating the complicated decisions and situations that lay ahead.”
The progression of Alzheimer’s disease affects each individual differently; however, there are some common symptoms of the disease, including: Memory loss, especially of recent events, names, placement of objects, and other new information; confusion with time and location; trouble with completing daily tasks such as getting dressed; poor judgement with making decisions; and changes in mood and personality, such as suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities.
AFA’s licensed social workers are available by phone, e-mail, live chat and Skype and can provide referrals to resources across the country, caregiving tips and strategies and an opportunity to vent concerns and frustrations. To reach AFA’s national toll free helpline, call 866-232-8484.
About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a non-profit founded to fill the gap that existed on a national level assuring quality of care and excellence in service to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and to their caregivers and families. AFA unites more than 2,400 member organizations from coast-to-coast that are dedicated to meeting the educational, social, emotional and practical needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Under AFA’s umbrella, these organizations collaborate on education, resources, best practices and advocacy —all resulting in better care for people affected by the disease. AFA’s services include a national, toll-free helpline staffed by licensed social workers, educational materials, professional training, community outreach, free quarterly caregiver magazine, research funding, public advocacy and programmatic services. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook.