NEW YORK, Aug. 9 To meet the growing needs of the dementia community, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America has updated its free, educational teleconference service to encourage both family members and professionals caring for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or a related illness to take advantage of its expert presentations and support network.
Called Care Connection, the teleconference will now include presentations about dementia that will interest both family and professional caregivers, and it will be held during a time that should appeal to both audiences. It links up to 150 caregivers from anywhere in the country for each one-hour session.
Under the new format, AFA will now host Care Connection on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, beginning August 12. Caregivers can call in toll-free at 877-232-2992; the guest identification number is 271004#. AFA will archive sessions on its Web site at www.alzfdn.org.
On August 12, Eboni Green, RN, Ph.D., executive director of Caregiver Support Services, Omaha, NE, will discuss practical solutions for stressed out caregivers. On September 9, Marianne Terry, LSW, director of the Time Out Adult Day Center-Succasunna & Madison, Family Service of Morris County, Morristown, NJ, will provide activity ideas. And, on October 14, Roy Herndon Smith, Ph.D., coordinator of Community Geriatric Care Management, New York, NY, will outline ways to communicate with individuals as their functions decline. A detailed calendar is available at www.alzfdn.org.
A member of AFA's social work team will facilitate each session and encourage call-in participants to pose questions to the experts as well as share their own experiences in a supportive environment.
"The needs of both family and professional caregivers are continuing to shift and evolve, but one thing remains clear: education and support are vital. Care Connection provides a valuable resource to help them on their caregiving journey," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and chief executive officer.
By shifting the service from the evening to the afternoon, family caregivers may be able to more easily participate while their loved ones are attending adult day centers or other respite programs, and organizations may encourage their healthcare employees to participate as a part of job training.
For family caregivers, Care Connection fills a growing need for alternate types of support services, especially for caregivers whose round-the-clock responsibilities prevent them from attending on-site sessions or interacting in person with other caregivers.
By participating in Care Connection, professional caregivers can keep up to date with the latest interventions to help care for clients. For those professionals qualified by AFA's membership and training division, Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA), each session will count as one hour of training toward credits required to renew their DCPA status.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, counseling by licensed social workers, educational materials, training for healthcare professionals, and a free caregiver magazine. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.
SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America