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Tenancy Available at Alzheimer's Association New Home

Renovations have begun at the future home of the Alzheimer's Association Orange County. Located with immediate access to the 405 and 5 freeways, and in close proximity to John Wayne Airport, the new location will expand our ability to serve the ever-growing population affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

There are more than 10,000 square feet available for lease.

Click here for details.

2515 McCabe Way
Irvine, CA 92614


Compassionate communication is the best tactic for Alzheimer's caregivers

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, or any form of dementia, can be tremendously difficult on the entire family. Professional caregivers may struggle to cope with the ever-increasing memory loss experienced by those in their care. So just imagine how hard it is for an “amateur” caregiver – usually a spouse, an adult child or sometimes a friend. Simple wisdom can spare some grief — consider this sampling of “do’s” and “don’ts” that can reframe the frustration experienced by families. Liz Ayres, former Alzheimer’s Association support group leader and caregiver, who passed away in 2012, left an enduring legacy with a communication style based on generosity and graciousness. The over-arching message is that no one can control memory loss – not you, not the patient and not even the doctor. All you can do is control your reaction to memory loss, by using “compassionate communication,” which can significantly heighten quality of life. “Their disability is memory loss,” said Ayres. “They can’t help it. Asking them to remember is like asking a blind person to read. Don’t ask questions they can’t easily answer and don’t ‘test’ them.” Among the “don’ts” suggested by the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Don't reason
  • Don't argue
  • Don't confront
  • Don't remind them they forget
  • Don't question recent memory
  • Don't take it personally

At the Alzheimer’s Association, staff and volunteers caution that the normal reasoning we do with each other in everyday life doesn’t work with a person suffering from dementia. Instead, they recommend a set of “do’s” that work far better:

  • Give short, one-sentence explanations
  • Allow plenty of time for comprehension - then triple it
  • Repeat instructions exactly the same way each time
  • Eliminate "but" from your vocabulary; use "nevertheless" instead
  • Avoid insistence - just try again later
  • Agree or distract them to a different subject or activity
  • When something seems wrong to them, accept the blame (even if untrue)
  • Avoid confrontations - if necessary, leave the room
  • Respond to their feelings, not their words
  • Go with the flow - be patient, cheering and reassuring
  • Practice 100 percent forgiveness - memory loss progresses daily

Caregivers of all types – family or professional – sometimes find themselves with an ethical dilemma: should I tell the truth or a little white lie? The Alzheimer’s Association advises families to do what will be least harmful, usually a diversion tactic. For example, if an individual with Alzheimer’s inquires about a spouse who has passed away, rather than reminding the person of this sadness, change the topic, start a fun activity or reminisce about the spouse, telling the person something you enjoyed doing with the individual.

“This is really an act of kindness, by not reinforcing bad memories for them. You don’t have to pretend the person is alive, but you can avoid admitting he or she is gone,” Ayres said.

One thing to keep in mind, which may help guide a caregiver’s reactions, is that a person with dementia is fearful most of the time. With the progressive nature of many dementias, reactions may vary from individual to individual and may fluctuate in the short and long term. Different reactions can include becoming passive, uncooperative, hostile, agitated, verbally abusive or physically combative. Almost all experience high anxiety levels.

Your goal is to reduce anxiety whenever possible. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, repeating reassurance is not redundant; it is necessary.

As a caregiver of a loved one, you can reduce fear and anxiety to improve quality of life. Rather than asking open-ended questions such as, “where shall we go?” offer two options, i.e. a walk to the park or a walk to the store, or direct the person’s choice, “let’s take a walk to the park.”

Another piece of timeless Ayres advice is to consider the Alzheimer’s Association a good friend. “The Alzheimer’s Association knows what you are going through, what works best, and what doesn’t. The organization knows what resources are available, and it’s entirely free. There is never any charge for what is provided to families.”

On the national level, the Alzheimer’s Association provides resources for families throughout the country. Locally, Alzheimer’s Association Orange County guides both pros and family caregivers through the process, including support groups, training sessions, a 24/7 Helpline and numerous educational resources.

For more information, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at the 24/7 Helpline at (800) 272-3900, or visit the website,

Editorial: An Epidemic Approaches

By Jim McAleer - Special Contributor
Orange County Register
April 3, 2014

Without intervention, Alzheimer’s disease will have a devastating impact on our world.

Aside from the devastating impact to individuals and families as loved ones slip away, one memory at a time, the rising incidence of the disease, coupled with the massive cost of care and loss of worker productivity for caregivers, will have a shattering societal impact. We need to talk about this. That’s why advocates from all over the United States will converge in Washington, D.C. this coming week to push for a much greater funding allocation for Alzheimer’s research. Let’s look at just why this conversation is so important.

For several years, it’s been reported that Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Today’s dose of reality is that Alzheimer’s appears to be the third-leading cause, right below heart disease and cancer.
While it turns out that today’s numbers are vastly underreported, it is also clear the situation will only grow worse...(read the entire article)

Report: Alzheimer's Costs Orange County Millions In Productivity

Orange County Register
January 12, 2014

The projected rise in Alzheimer's disease is not only a public health crisis, it's a problem for local businesses, according to a recent report by the Alzheimer's Association of Orange County.

There are 60,880 cases of Alzheimer's in Orange County and an additional 23,273 older adults have other forms of dementia. Alzheimer's, a degenerative brain disease, is the fourth-leading cause of death, and the number of cases is growing as baby boomers age.
Most patient care is provided by family members at no cost. Yet 60 percent of those caretakers have jobs and two-thirds of them report having to start work late, leave early or take time off to care for a relative. Eleven percent of caregivers have reduced their hours or quit altogether.

The report forecasts that by 2030, the reduced productivity of family caregivers will cost Orange County more than $19 million per year...(Read the Entire Article)

Follow Alzheimer's Association, Orange County Chapter on Social Media

We're on social media and encourage you to follow us in order to receive the latest updates on research, programs, education and events.

AAOC Social Media channels are the hub of Alzheimer's-related information in Orange County!

Click on the icons to follow us!


AAOC Brings Large Presence To Washington DC for National Advocacy Conference

The annual National Advocacy Conference in Washington took place from Monday, April 7th to Thursday, April 10th. Local Orange County advocates descended on the nation's capitol with fellow advocates from the dozens of chapters of the Alzheimer's Association nationwide to advocate for those living with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementia.

Attendees spent the week learning about current legislation and programs relevant to Americans living with Alzheimer's disease and their loved ones. They led meetings with Members of Congress and Unites States Senators and legislative staff, educating them as to the importance of committing resources to Alzheimer's disease research and programs, as well as caregiver services and education.

Orange County was well-represented with staff, volunteers and advocates making the trip to lobby on behalf of the cause.

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.

Make a secure online donation >>

To learn more about the Cornerstone Campaign, contact Ann at or 949.757.3714.



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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.