ENHANCING CARE AND SUPPORT
The Alzheimer's Association website, alz.org, and the nationwide 24/7 Helpline (800.272.2900) serve as main entry points to the organization's network of resources, including care consultation, support group listings, education programs, and early-stage and safety services. In FY12, calls to the Helpline totaled 262,826 — a more than 25 percent increase over the previous year.
The 2011-2012 Early-Stage Advisory Group served as advisors, leaders and spokespeople in the Association's ongoing efforts to better serve individuals with dementia. In FY12, this group of 10 individuals living with early-stage Alzheimer's helped to raise awareness and concern about the disease by achieving nearly 6 million media impressions. Two advisors were appointed to the Alzheimer's Association National Board of Directors and two were appointed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Patient Representative Program.
In March 2012, the Alzheimer's Association launched ALZConnected®, a social networking community for people with Alzheimer's, caregivers and others affected by the disease to share questions and form new connections. Users can tap into a diverse community through the site's message boards and create a private groups organized around specific topics. On average, ALZConnected received more than 40,000 visits
per month in FY12.
In June 2012, the Alzheimer's Association launched Alzheimer's Navigator™, an online tool designed to help individuals with the disease, caregivers and family evaluate their needs and develop a customized action plan that provides information, support and resources. Alzheimer's Navigator works in conjunction with Community Resource Finder, a comprehensive database of housing and care options, programs and services, and legal experts, allowing users to quickly search, find and access support.
Alzheimer's Association essentiALZ® is a two-level certification program for dementia care providers. Launched in November 2011, essentiALZ combines select HealthCare Interactive CARES® online dementia care training with Alzheimer's Association online certification exams, providing a convenient way to recognize professionals or family members for learning quality dementia care practices. In FY12, more than 2,300 individuals took the exams with an approximate pass rate of 80 percent.
With support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Alzheimer's Association created the Dementia and Driving Resource Center (DDRC). Launched in September 2011, this interactive tool helps people with dementia, their caregivers and family members deal with the cessation of driving as the disease progresses. The DDRC features video scenarios, tips for planning ahead, common signs of unsafe driving and resources for alternative methods of transportation.
As part of an ongoing commitment to provide caregivers with information and support, the Alzheimer's Association unveiled the online Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiver Center in June 2012. This new resource brings caregiving information and tools together in one easy-to-navigate site.
In its first month, the Caregiver Center received more than 175,000 visits.
The Virtual Library of the Alzheimer's Association Green-Field Library continues to be a valuable service for finding answers and resources related to Alzheimer's disease, offering the public access to more than 5,000 books, journals, videos and CDs, and expert librarians. In April 2012, the library added a new online public catalog offering faster, easier access to all of the Green-Field Library's resources and tools, a mobile tab for seamless searching on the go, and enhanced electronic access to its journal collection of evidence-based medical literature.
In FY12, Association expanded its physician outreach efforts by exhibiting at seven primary care conferences, promoting Alzheimer's Association TrialMatch®, the Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline and the new Alzheimer's Association referral pad — a tool to help physicians direct their patients to reliable Association resources. The Association also reached out to physicians via a coordinated mailing with the American Academy of Family Physicians and three direct mail campaigns, sharing valuable information and resources.
The Just for Kids and Teens Web page launched in September 2011, offering videos and tools to kids 8-12 years old and teens 13-17 who are facing Alzheimer's disease in their personal lives. In addition, the page hosts videos and information for parents and teachers.
The Association created Living with Alzheimer's: for Younger-Onset Alzheimer's, an educational program that provides answers to the questions that arise for people facing younger-onset Alzheimer's.
In a presentation that includes video clips, participants hear about the experiences of others with the disease firsthand and learn how to plan for the future.
The Alzheimer's Association unveiled a bilingual Asian Web portal in January 2012. The portal features more than 30 pages of content, including downloadable topic sheets in each of the four languages included — Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.