ALZHEIMER'S CONFERENCE OFFERS HOPE Orange County Register By JIM MCALEER / Guest Columnist August 13, 2013
Chances are that if you're reading this piece, you have a connection to Alzheimer's. More than 83,000 Orange County residents have or are at immediate risk for Alzheimer's or related dementias, making it the fourth-leading cause of death countywide. Many of us know a family member or dear friend who is part of this growing number dealing with the neurodegenerative illness that weakens the memory and other cognitive and emotional functions.
Countless families reach out each year to the Alzheimer's Association looking for help, reassurance, care and, perhaps most important, hope. Hope comes in many forms, including groundbreaking information and care, support and research into promising new treatments and prevention measures. In July, I traveled to the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston where, along with almost 5,000 scientists and clinicians, I learned that the best minds in the world are telling us that:
• Exercise and diet are still our best bet: With three drugs failing their stage three trials recently and no real front-runner for a pharmaceutical cure on the early horizon, scientists at AAIC offered a number of presentations that showed a Mediterranean diet still has the strongest evidence for possibly slowing the progression of Alzheimer's or delaying its onset. Exercise and social engagement were also shown to have the greatest body of evidence linking them to prevention, perhaps due to their connection to heart health. • Keeping the brain engaged keeps us in the game: A French study of 429,000 subjects demonstrated that prolonging retirement can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Other studies showed that social engagement delayed onset. A recent journal article supported computer programs that "train" the brain. Learn a new language, join a social club, take a cooking class or form a book club. Whether it's continuing to work or just continuing to stimulate the brain through recreation, it's clear that staying engaged helps. • Early is key: The earlier interventions are implemented, the more effective they are. Not only did the Federal Drug Administration indicate it might allow drugs into the market if they show only modest impact on functioning in early stage Alzheimer's (a shift from current policy), research at AAIC reiterated that the earlier you know you have a memory issue and introduce medications, exercise and lifestyle changes, the greater their impact.
Since 1982, Alzheimer's Association, Orange County Chapter, has been providing programs and services, free of charge, to Orange County residents with Alzheimer's and related disorders, their families, caregivers and the community.
If you are concerned that you have memory issues or if you have been diagnosed with any form of memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer's disease, clinical trials may provide game-changing outcomes. You can volunteer for a clinical trial where a new drug is being tested to see if it has an impact. Go to trialmatch.alz.org for more details.
There also are many free resources available to you and your family including support groups, referrals to financial planners, physicians, education on the disease, treatments, legislation and advocacy and more. Perhaps you just need to talk to someone who understands. Give us a call on our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or go to alz.org. – Jim McAleer is the president and chief executive officer of the Orange County Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION PURCHASES NEW ORANGE COUNTY HEADQUARTERS
$5.1 Million Irvine-based Building Increases Visibility & Capacity to Serve County’s 83,000-Plus People Affected by Disease
IRVINE, Calif. (July 24, 2013) – Alzheimer’s Association today announced that it has purchased a $5.1 million office building to serve as the new Orange County headquarters. Facing the I405 freeway in Irvine, the 30,000 square foot building will house the organization’s staff and act as a focal point for all services, offered at no cost to those affected by Alzheimer’s in Orange County.
Alzheimer’s Association will renovate the building to host its many programs and activities, including support groups and caregiver education. Brokered by David Girty of Coldwell Banker Commercial and Marty Stradtman, the new building will increase staff productivity in the redesigned, efficiency-optimized workspace. A “Memory Walk” will offer a serene garden setting for people with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers and families. The five month renovation is set to begin September 2013.
“The new building is vital to increase our capacity to help the more than 83,000 people who are affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias, along with the hundreds of thousands of family members and caregivers who support them,” said Jim McAleer, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter. “Currently, our resources only enable us to serve 26 percent of the affected population. This building is an important next step toward helping those in need and ultimately achieving our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.”
The acquisition of the building is a primary focus of the Alzheimer’s Association Cornerstone Campaign to raise $10 million to increase the services and support for those who are affected by the disease in Orange County.
“Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., but the fourth largest in Orange County,” said McAleer. “A projected 250,000 Orange County residents are expected to contract the disease in the next 40 years, profoundly impacting our local healthcare system. It is imperative to create the capacity to effectively respond to this dramatic increase in the Alzheimer’s population.”
IRVINE, Calif. (July 17, 2013) – Alzheimer’s Association today announced its new GO Purple OC campaign during the week of September 23rd to rally the Orange County community to turn well-known landmarks, city halls, retail shopping centers and other locations purple to increase awareness of the cause and inspire action.
“Alzheimer’s disease is the fourth-leading cause of death in Orange County, which has a profound impact on our community and its healthcare system,” said Jim McAleer, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter. “The GO Purple OC campaign will mobilize citizens and businesses to increase local awareness for our cause and further strengthen efforts to help the more than 83,000 people affected by the disease and their families.”
Local businesses and organizations that have pledged to GO Purple include the following: Chapman University, Discovery Science Center, 959 The Fish, Go Country 105, Los Angeles Angels, OC Social Scene, Orange County Business Journal and The Orange County Register. Orange County Alzheimer’s champions who will participate in GO Purple OC are Churm Media CEO Steve Churm, Angel Baseball Hall of Famer Bobby Grich, Wahoo’s Fish Taco Owner Wing Lam and Go Country 105 morning DJ Shawn Parr.
“GO Purple OC will help spread the word about the many support services that the Alzheimer’s Association offers Orange County residents who are affected by the disease,” said Shawn Parr, Go Country 105 morning DJ. “We are proud to GO Purple in September and help this important cause.”
Currently, Alzheimer’s Association serves only 26 percent of the approximately 83,000 people affected by the disease, leaving more than 60,000 individuals as well as hundreds of thousands of caregivers and family members without the care that they need.
Individuals and businesses can make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Ideas on how to participate in the GO Purple OC initiative include: • Wear purple during the GO Purple OC week of September 23rd • Form a fundraising team for a Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Fall at alz.org/walk • Share “GO Purple” photos and activities on the campaign’s social media channels by sending to email@example.com
Visit GoPurpleOC.com to view the Alzheimer’s Association GO Purple OC Electronic Toolkit. For more information about Go Purple OC, contact the Idea Hall GO Purple OC team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 714.436.0855.
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION, ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER RECEIVES TRANSFORMATIONAL GIFT IN EXCESS OF $27 MILLION Local chapter receives estate gift from long-time Orange County resident, family was served by the Alzheimer’s Association.
Cornerstone Campaign: Care, Cure, Capacity By giving to our Cornerstone Campaign focused on Care, Cure and Capacity, you are investing in a world without Alzheimer's
Care: Currently, we serve only 26% of the affected population in Orange County -- leaving over 60,000 people and their families without the care they need. A gift to Care makes it possible for us to continue providing no-cost services and support to local families in need.
Cure: The number of affected individuals continues to grow unabated as scientists seek a cure, and is projected to triple by 2050. Dollars given to the Cure initiative will advance Alzheimer’s science in pursuit of a cure, effective treatments and prevention.
Capacity: Every 68 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Funding dedicated to Capacity will be devoted to ensuring the ongoing and expanded availability of programs to address the growing demand.
Stay up-to-date on the latest news and advances in Alzheimer's treatments, care and research. Get tips for living with Alzheimer's as well as simple ideas on how you can support the fight to end Alzheimer's.