Delivering on its mission, the Alzheimer’s Association provided care and support more than 8 million times in FY20 through channels including alz.org, phone and in-person care consultation, support groups, education programs and information. According to surveys, constituents are highly satisfied with Association programs and services and would recommend them to others.
The Association’s national 24/7 Helpline delivers care and support around the clock, 365 days a year. Helpline specialists and master’s-level clinicians received nearly 250,000 calls in FY20, offering confidential support and information to people facing Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. The Helpline remained fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic by quickly transitioning centralized operations to an all-virtual environment. In addition, the Association adheres to comprehensive nationwide Helpline standards developed to ensure consistent quality. The 24/7 Helpline is partially funded by a five-year, $6.2 million federal grant awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living.
To help individuals living with dementia, caregivers and families navigate the pandemic, the Association launched a COVID-19 help center, providing around-the-clock access to support, resources and tips in English and Spanish. To continue reaching communities across the country with vital support groups and education programs, the Association transitioned these services to virtual formats, ensuring safe access to care and support for all those in need.
The Association collaborated with care providers and affiliated organizations to create Tips for Dementia Caregivers in Long-Term or Community-Based Settings in response to COVID-19. The tips identify emergency situation strategies for long-term care and community-based care providers based on the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.
To further support care providers during the pandemic, the Association hosted the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care ECHO for Assisted Living Communities: Special Topic Series, a unique virtual opportunity to discuss best practice recommendations using case-based learning.
The National Institutes of Health awarded the Association an estimated $1.34 million to establish Leveraging an Interdisciplinary Consortium to Improve Care and Outcomes for Persons Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LINC-AD). Led by Association staff, the five-year consortium will work to improve care and outcomes through a series of high-impact activities designed to advance psychosocial research in Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
The Association launched a new health systems initiative in FY20 to facilitate and enhance dementia care in clinical settings. More than 300 health systems nationwide are involved, receiving solutions to improve health outcomes and manage the cost of care for people living with dementia. Through these relationships, the Association secured policy change commitments that increased access to detection and care, benefiting more than 693,000 individuals.
The Alzheimer’s Association National Early-Stage Advisory Group comprises individuals living in the early stage of Alzheimer’s or another dementia and their care partners. Advisors share their experiences through media outlets and other public channels in order to raise awareness, reduce stigma and provide guidance on the development of programs and services. Among the group’s activities in FY20, advisors participated in the National Institute on Aging’s Dementia Summit and shared their experiences on a National Academies of Sciences Decadal Survey call for commentary.
More than 560,000 searches were conducted on the Alzheimer’s Association & AARP Community Resource Finder, a database of dementia and aging-related resources that connects individuals facing dementia with local programs and services.
The Association optimized its suite of online resources for individuals affected by dementia. ALZConnected®, a free online community for people living with dementia and their caregivers, continues to thrive, with over 10,000 new members in FY20, nearly 45,000 forum posts by community members and more than 800,000 user sessions. Over 70,000 user sessions took place on Alzheimer’s Navigator®, an online assessment tool allowing people living with the disease and caregivers to create personalized action plans.
The Association participated in the Assisted Living Workgroup (ALW) report, which assessed states’ assisted living regulations to determine which ALW recommendations should be adopted. The Association participated in this report as a founding member of the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living, a national coalition of diverse organizations dedicated to promoting excellence in assisted living.