In 1982, Alzheimer's disease was rarely diagnosed, its extent was little known and no treatments or services were available. Few scientists investigated it. There were no practical guidelines for treatment or care. Family caregivers struggled to provide care for loved ones.
In Davenport, Iowa, a committed group of caregivers dedicated themselves to forming a support group for caregivers dealing with Alzheimer's. In 1983, Josephine Lindquist and Sister Carolyn Walters had their first informational meeting. Thirty people attended that first meeting. Later that year, the group formed its own organizational board of directors, In 1984, the volunteer group affiliated itself with the National Alzheimer's Association.
In Central Iowa, caregivers followed much the same route, banding together to offer support and help spread awareness of this little-understood disease. The current Alzheimer's Association Greater Iowa Chapter has formed from varying name changes and mergers including the Golden Iowa Chapter, the Mid-Iowa Chapter and then a merger with the Mississippi Valley Chapter. In 2014, again two chapters (Big Sioux and Greater Iowa) joined together to better serve Iowans and then again in 2015 the Greater Iowa Chapter acquired five additional counties from the Nebraska Chapter. To view the updated map of the Greater Iowa Chapter territory, please click here. Physical offices for the Greater Iowa Chapter include: Burlington, Council Bluffs, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, the Quad Cities, Sioux City and West Des Moines (chapter headquarters). To contact the office nearest you, please click here.
Today the Alzheimer's Association is still the leading resource for information, assistance and support for people living with Alzheimer's disease, as well as the friends, family members and professionals working to make Alzheimer's just a memory. We are the largest non-profit funder of research and working to find a cure for a disease that affects more than 5 million Americans.