While the on-going coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still threatens the health of millions in this country and around the world, it continues to create additional challenges for people living with Alzheimer’s and all dementia, their families and caregivers, including 180,000 in North Carolina and their estimated 479,000 caregivers.
The Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter and the Alzheimer’s Association, Eastern North Carolina Chapter are continuing to offer free virtual education programs and online support groups to help all North Carolina caregivers and their families. Launched in May in response to the impact COVID-19 was having on those affected by dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association now offers a number of education programs that can help those living with Alzheimer’s and their families understand what to expect so they can be prepared to meet the changes ahead.
“From the health risks of COVID-19 to the social isolation caused by the pandemic, we serve a vulnerable population. We see it as our duty to ensure that all North Carolina caregivers have access to Alzheimer’s Association resources,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Western Carolina Chapter. “The COVID-19 crisis continues to alter daily lives, but the needs of Alzheimer’s caregivers persist. These online programs allow us to connect with caregivers and provide necessary information especially amid the on-going crisis.”
Featured topics for December center around the difficult but important conversations that need to occur when someone starts to exhibit signs of dementia:
Dementia Conversations: Driving, Doctor Visits, Legal & Financial Planning
Often, conversations with family about changing behaviors can be challenging and uncomfortable. This program provides tips for breaking the ice with your family so you can address some of the most common issues that are difficult to discuss: going to the doctor for a diagnosis or medical treatment, deciding when to stop driving, and making legal and financial plans for future care. This program will be held on December 3 and December 15.
Legal and Financial Issues
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease makes planning for the future more important than ever. Concerns about care provision and programs that can help offset costs mean that families need accurate information about legal and financial planning specific to the disease. This is an interactive program where you will have a chance to learn about important legal and financial issues to consider, how to put plans in place, and how to access legal and financial resources near you. This program will be held on December 9.
Other programs in December include:
- Caregiving for the Holidays
- 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Healthy Living for your Brain and Body
- Understanding and Responding to Dementia- Related Behavior
- Effective Communication Strategies
Each virtual education program is approximately one hour and allows the audience to ask questions and engage with others going through the journey.
Attendees are invited to join via video/webinar or through a toll-free number. There is no charge to participate, but registration is required. For a complete list of upcoming virtual programs or to register for a class, visit alz.org/northcarolina/helping_you/virtual-offerings or call 800-272-3900. Participants will be sent conferencing details prior to the date of each virtual program.
More than 16 million family and friends, including 479,000 in North Carolina, provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in the United States. To help family caregivers navigate the current complex and quickly changing environment, the Alzheimer’s Association has also offered additional guidance to families at alz.org/covid19help.
For more information, visit alz.org/northcarolina or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.
Additional Facts and Figures: (http://www.alz.org/facts/)
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
- More than five million Americans are living with the disease, including 180,000 North Carolina residents — a number estimated to grow to as many as 210,000 by year 2025.
- More than 16 million family and friends, including 479,000 in North Carolina, provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in the United States.
- In 2019, friends and family of those with Alzheimer’s in North Carolina provided an estimated 545 million hours of unpaid care, a contribution valued at $7.15 billion.
About the Alzheimer’s Association:
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s® and all other dementia.
About the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter:
The Western Carolina Chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in 49 central and western North Carolina counties. It offers opportunities to get involved and to make a difference, in addition to a variety of services including: a 24/7 Helpline, support groups, educational programs, and MedicAlert®. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease or the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit www.alz.org/northcarolina or call (800) 272-3900. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.