'No Cost' Ways to Get Informed and Get Help About Alzheimer's Disease

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 General News
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Alzheimer's Foundation of America Urges Action during National Alzheimer's Awareness Month

NEW YORK, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As economic woes and healthcare cost concerns continue to grip the nation, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) is encouraging families of those affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to take advantage of free services and monetary awards that can help reduce the financial toll of this chronic disease.

AFA's message comes during the observance in November of both National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Caregivers Month.

Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and CEO, said that AFA these days is fielding more inquiries than ever about financial aspects of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease.

"The burden of chronic disease, especially for those living on fixed incomes, becomes even more apparent when economic times are tough," he said.

"Families with loved ones who have Alzheimer's disease are being pulled on all sides, and the last thing they need is any additional financial pressure. Now more than ever, they need to be proactive and embrace support that is theirs free for the asking. This assistance can make a world of difference in terms of lightening the financial as well as the emotional toll of caregiving."

It is estimated that five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, with the majority aged 65 and older. The brain disorder progressively causes loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and a person lives an average eight years from diagnosis. The cost of an individual's care can be as high as $36,000 per year.

Here are five of AFA's "no cost" support services:

For information about these and other programs and services, contact AFA at 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) is a New York-based nonprofit organization made up of 950 member organizations nationwide that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. AFA's services include a toll-free hot line, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. Call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

1. On AFA's 6th annual National Memory Screening Day on November 18th, more than 2,100 sites from coast to coast will offer free, confidential memory screenings and information about memory concerns, successful aging and resources. AFA encourages adults with memory concerns, a family history of Alzheimer's disease or a desire to establish a baseline score for future comparison to participate. The results do not represent a diagnosis, and screeners encourage those with abnormal scores and those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical exam. 2. AFA's toll-free hot line, 866-AFA-8484, links callers with its licensed social workers who answer questions --- big and small --- about myriad topics and provide referrals to local resources nationwide. 3. Available by free subscription, AFA's quarterly magazine, care ADvantage for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, contains practical care-related strategies, activities and input from families living with the disease. 4. Families in financial need can apply for respite care grants to help offset the cost of such services as adult day programs and in-home aides. The grants are offered twice a year and applications must be made through AFA member organizations. 5. For teenagers, including those personally dealing with Alzheimer's disease in their families, AFA awards a $5,000 scholarship annually to a college-bound student. Applications are due February 15.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America

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