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In My Community
From the President and CEO
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August 2014

Dear Friends:

Care and support is central to our mission.  It was the primary focus of discussion at July’s meeting of  the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services.  We are at this table to ensure that those who are charged with coordinating federal agencies conducting Alzheimer’s-related care, services and research to support the implementation of our country’s first-ever National Alzheimer’s Plan do not lose sight of the challenges caregivers face each day and the need for meaningful assistance.

Caregivers had a national platform to share their stories. They were heard.  While progress has been made since the implementation of the Plan, we still have much to do to support the country’s more than 15 million caregivers.  Educating and supporting the increasingly diverse population of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers has never been more urgent.

     • 250,000 caregivers are under the age of 18
     • 90% of caregivers feel unprepared to care for those with dementia
     • caregivers in diverse communities face unique challenges

The Alzheimer’s Association is here to help.

For more than 30 years, the Alzheimer’s Association has been a primary source of information and support for people with Alzheimer’s and their families and caregivers. Our 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900 and online tools, including Caregiver Center, Alzheimer’s Navigator, ALZConnected, and e-learning workshops are available any time day or night. Support groups and education programs are offered throughout the National Capital Area region.

Our Chapter is partnering with Howard University and Georgetown University to take the lead in providing support and resources to physicians as they care for patients with dementia and their families. In May 2015, we will co-host a physicians conference to share the latest on research, clinical trials, diagnostic guidelines and tools, and more. Please contact Ana Nelson at anelson@alz.org or 703.766.9006 for more information.

AAIC 2014 Highlights
Lifestyle and Alzheimer’s was a recurring theme at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). Breaking studies from the conference captured global media attention as the world's leading experts shared findings on physical activity, nutritional guidance, cognitive training, social activities and management of heart health risk factors as potentially beneficial lifestyle-based interventions. Researchers also shared new information on smell and eye tests that show potential in early detection of Alzheimer’s. Other studies shared significant advances in evidence regarding treatment and early detection, as well as new ideas in the basic brain science of dementia that may lead to new diagnostic and treatment targets.

Our next AAIC will be held here in Washington, DC from July 18 – 23, 2015. Please be sure to mark your calendars for the world's premier forum on Alzheimer’s and dementia research.

Research studies on our region
One of the greatest ways you can help move Alzheimer's research forward is by participating in a research study. Without research, there can be no prevention, no new treatments and no cure. By volunteering to be part of a clinical trial, you can make a difference.

Earlier this year, the Alzheimer's Association awarded its largest ever research grant — $8 million over four years — to support the Longitudinal Evaluation of Amyloid Risk and Neurodegeneration (LEARN) study as a companion study to the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer's Disease (A4) Study, a pioneering Alzheimer's prevention trial that is starting this year. Two of the A4 study sites are in our Chapter territory: Georgetown University and Howard University. In addition to the A4 studies, there are several other clinical trials underway here in our region. Alzheimer's Association TrialMatch is our free, easy-to-use clinical studies matching service that connects individuals with Alzheimer's, caregivers, healthy volunteers and physicians with current studies.

Summer safety reminders
As summer draws to a close, I encourage you to keep in mind these safety matters. Whether taking a short trip or traveling a far distance for vacation, it's important to consider the difficulties and benefits of travel for a person with dementia. This time of year can bring extreme weather, including tornados and hurricanes, so caregivers must know how to prepare for an emergency and what to do before, during and after a disaster. Safety is important for everyone, but taking specific precautions becomes vital as dementia progresses. We have resources to assist. If you have questions or need additional information, please call our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

Help make Alzheimer’s a National Priority
Public policy decisions must provide the resources necessary to support programs that affect people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Policymakers must enact public policies that provide better health and long-term coverage to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care for the millions of people who face this disease every day. Please take a moment to learn more about three current key pieces of legislation we support – then contact your members of Congress to encourage their support, as well.

Alzheimer's Research Funding
Alzheimer's Accountability Act
Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act

Alzheimer’s Workplace Alliance
Alzheimer’s disease is a global epidemic, and it’s likely that you have, or will have, employees who are caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia in your organization. In fact, 75 percent of caregivers report being employed while fulfilling care responsibilities. The Alzheimer’s Association Workplace Alliance (AWA) is a coalition of nearly 2,000 leading companies that aim to support those who are balancing work and caregiving responsibilities and to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, its prevalence, cost to society, warning signs and the importance of early detection. AWA membership is available at no cost but great value to your organization. To learn more, please contact Elliott Gaskins at 703.766.9024 or egaskins@alz.org.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Increased awareness and funding for care, support and research are driving factors in our fight against Alzheimer’s, and at no time is this more evident than each fall when hundreds of thousands of individuals across our nation Walk to End Alzheimer’s!   This inspiring event unites the entire community in a display of combined strength and dedication in the fight against this devastating disease.  Please sign up today for one or more of our seven Walks – Bowie, La Plata, and Solomons in Maryland, Manassas, Reston, and Winchester in Virginia and Washington, DC – and help us to reclaim the future for millions of people in our country.

Around the world, across our country, and here in your community, the Alzheimer’s Association is leading the way on the path to a world without Alzheimer’s.  Thank you for your unwavering dedication and relentless passion to conquer this devastating disease and ensure that all who are affected have the information, care, and support they need. 

Warm regards,

Susan Kudla Finn, PMP
President and CEO
Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter


 

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.