The urgent demand for our programs and services continues to grow at a rapid pace as the trajectory of our country’s sixth-leading cause of death increases. Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the United States and the numbers are rising. With your help, our Chapter is expanding our partnership base with those in our community who are committed to investing time, energy, and resources to support our efforts.
Uniting the community
Thousands across our region joined together for our annual fall fundraising events: Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Blondes vs. Brunettes and our Marine Corps Marathon Team ALZStars. We are grateful to all our event sponsors, media partners, participants, volunteers, and donors who helped to raise nearly $1.3 million and increase awareness of Alzheimer’s throughout the community. Their investment, along with your generous support, allows us to continue funding critical research and providing vital information, education and support to those facing the daily challenges of Alzheimer’s.
Enhancing care and support
From July through November, we offered 127 education programs, two early stage programs, over 40 support groups, three conferences, one symposia, and five first responder trainings. We fielded more than 1,600 calls to our 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900 and provided 242 care consultations to guide families in making difficult, yet important decisions. Our thanks to our volunteers, community partners and sponsors for their commitment to ensure that no one has to face the long goodbye of Alzheimer are alone.
Nine percent of seniors living in the District of Columbia have Alzheimer’s. Last month, the District released its first-ever State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease. The plan engages District government agencies, federal partners, the private sector, and non-profits to make Alzheimer’s disease a priority for the city. The National Capital Area Chapter is proud to have participated in the development of this plan, and we look forward to working with the District to help improve the lives of residents living with this disease and reduce the burden on caregivers and their families.
Alzheimer’s and the holidays
The holidays are times for family members to gather from near and far to celebrate the season. Because this special time of togetherness may only occur once a year, family members may notice subtle changes in loved ones that might not have been visible the year before. The warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease are often dismissed as side effects of normal aging. If your loved one is experiencing memory loss or behavioral changes, I encourage you to learn about the warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
The stress of caregiving responsibilities layered with holiday traditions or obligations can take its toll on the family. Loved ones with dementia may be confused by the flurry of activities or feel as if they can no longer be part of the festivities. Learn about helpful tips to make your celebrations happy and memorable.
The Alzheimer’s Association is here for you round the clock throughout the holidays. Please call our 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900 or visit our web site www.alz.org should you need information and/or support.
Welcoming new faces
We welcome three new staff members to our Chapter this month. Elliott Gaskins is our new Vice President of Development. He brings more than 10 years of senior development experience to our Chapter. Elliott has served as the Chief Development Officer at the Latin American Youth Center; Vice President, Resource Development at America’s Promise Alliance; Director of Development Operations at The Aspen Institute; as well as the Associate Director, Development Operations with The Marrow Foundation. He is also a member of Leadership Greater Washington. Also joining our Chapter staff are Michele Gehrig, Associate Director of Annual Giving, and Julie Booth, Volunteer Manager. Michele has 13 years of experience in individual fundraising and planned giving. Julie has been in volunteer management for more than four years. We are poised and positioned for growth to better service our community.
Our work would not be possible without you
We celebrate our progress and the support we gratefully receive from you and our growing number of volunteers. We also know how much more work still needs to be done to meet the growing demand for our programs and services, which we offer free of charge to all those who need our help.
Without generous donors like you, our free programs and services would not be possible. If you or your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and has relied on our Chapter’s services, or if you are among those who have friends, colleagues, or family who believe in our mission and want to support our service to others, I hope you will consider a year-end gift. Generous donors like you make it possible for us to provide free programs and services to those in our region who desperately need help.
Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do. Together, we can continue to make a difference and achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.
Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season!
Susan Kudla Finn, PMP