World Alzheimer’s Month Focuses on Fighting Stigma–Alzheimer’s Research

What if you were made to feel different because of a disease you couldn’t control?

What if you were excluded at work due to your responsibilities at home?

What if you saw a friend meet your eyes — only to turn away without saying hello?

People with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers experience these situations every day.

Alzheimer’s disease is a global epidemic. More than 35 million people are living with dementia worldwide, but there is still a lack of understanding about the disease.

Often because of misinformation and even fear we hold people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families at arm’s length, and even hide the fact that we are facing Alzheimer’s in our own families. But by being open and educating others about the realities of Alzheimer’s, we can dispel the misconceptions.

During World Alzheimer’s Month, join us as we raise awareness:

  • Speak up about the facts. Alzheimer’s is NOT normal aging or “a little memory loss”; it’s a progressive and fatal disease.
  • Go Purple. Wear purple to symbolize the movement to end Alzheimer’s – and tell people why you’re wearing it!
  • Create a conversation. Ask friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to get involved with the cause or share your knowledge of the disease with them.

Whether you have been a Champion for many years or you’re new to the movement, you can make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s today.

Geriatric care managers bring ease to elderly needs

Lee Fiedler found reliable advice through a geriatric care manager when she needed it most: as her stepmother, Alice Fiedler, approached 95 and her health was declining. Lee plans to use highly rated Elder Advocates again when her husband, Ed Milam – 15 years her senior – needs additional care. “What I learned was invaluable,” says Lee, a retired journalist in Orlando, Fla., where Elder Advocates is based. “I did my homework, and they were still able to help.”

GCMs assess a senior’s situation to determine what kind of care is needed, and either provide those services or make referrals. Lee got help as wide-ranging as choosing a walker that Medicare would cover to selecting a skilled-care facility appropriate for Alice’s needs and determining end-of-life care.

Care managers’ backgrounds are diverse – from nurses and neurologists to elder attorneys and social workers – and they can help identify health, legal and financial resources. The GCM who Lee hired, a nurse, monitored the nursing home care, visited Alice weekly and advocated for her when she was hospitalized after a fall. “The advice they gave me was always good,” Lee says. “They told me to ‘Check things out. Don’t just do what we tell you.'”

Elder Advocates owner Patty Antony describes her agency’s job as evaluating immediate needs, forecasting future ones and creating a Plan C, “in case all of that falls apart.” Her clients are overwhelmingly adult children who live out of town and suddenly need help when their parent faces a crisis, often on a weekend. “We can check in on Mom, make sure durable medical equipment arrived and that she’s taking the right medicine,” says Antony, who once dog sat for a client who refused hospitalization until Rover was cared for.

Costs vary widely. The American Elder Care Research Organization says clients typically pay $50 to $200 per hour. Lee paid $600 for an initial assessment and $200 per month for ongoing care, which wasn’t covered by her insurance. Some long-term insurance plans cover GCM advisory services, but most general health policies don’t, Antony reports, so her agency also helps clients identify potential benefits from government and community programs.

The way GCM agencies operate also vary. Elder Advocates has caregivers on staff. Other GCMs, such as the highly rated nationwide A Place for Mom, give clients a free list of providers, which pay the agency when clients hire them.

Michele Viehman of Lake St. Louis, Mo., found this clearinghouse arrangement ideal when her mother needed a home aide. “They helped me determine what services were needed and offered all levels of assistance,” she says.

The demand for GCMs is rising dramatically as the number of senior citizens increases, says Susan Fleischer, president of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. She advises to look at a GCM’s certification and professional licenses before hiring. NAPGCM requires members to be certified by the National Association of Social Workers, the National Academy of Certified Care Managers or the Commission for Case Manager Certification.

Alice Fiedler’s care evolved over six years and involved two nurses because the first one moved from the area. “I never, ever felt it was a waste of money,” Lee says. “It gave us peace of mind that we were getting the best care we could give her.”

by Rosalyn Demaree

Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Chicago is right around the corner.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Chicago is right around the corner.
And without participants like you, it will be difficult to continue to invest in enhanced care and support, accelerated research and advocacy efforts. Please sign up to Walk with us again on Sunday, September 9 at Montrose Harbor.
We hope you haven’t signed up because you’re concerned about fundraising—we promise there’s nothing to fear! Once you register, you will have an online fundraising coach who will provide helpful tips on the best way to utilize our tools. You’ll have access to an innovative application to fundraise with Facebook, a personal website to solicit online contributions and a mobile application to fundraise with your Smartphone.
If you can’t make it to Walk this year, we hope you’ll sign up as a virtual walker and be there in spirit. You can join a team or fundraise on your own! Sign up today.
We are so thankful for your participation in the past and the contribution you made to our fundraising efforts. Please step up again this year and join us in the fight against Alzheimer’s!
We hope to see you at Walk to End Alzheimer’s!


If you want to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, there couldn’t be a better time than now.

To recognize September as World Alzheimer’s Month, the Peyton Family Foundation has pledged to donate $250,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association if we raise the same amount by Sept. 21, Alzheimer’s Action Day.

You have been a generous friend to us in the past. Can we count on you again in September? Your gift today can go twice as far to help those facing Alzheimer’s disease. Please take advantage of this limited-time offer.

A matching gift challenge is the ideal opportunity to show your support — it means that your gift can go even further toward realizing our shared vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. Please give as generously as you can.

Our 2012 World Alzheimer’s Month Challenge is
sponsored by:

Peyton Family Foundation
The Peyton Family Foundation supports the Alzheimer’s Association and our commitment to outstanding programs and services. They have dedicated their gift of $250,000 to Alzheimer’s Navigator™, a free online tool that creates customized action plans to help guide individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Alzheimer’s Association to be part of Subaru "Share the Love" event

Alzheimer’s Association to be part of Subaru “Share the Love” event

Thanks to your votes, the Alzheimer’s Association is part of the Subaru “Share the Love” event. For every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from Nov. 21, 2012, to Jan. 2, 2013, Subaru will donate $250 to the owner’s choice from the five selected charities.
Learn more about “Share the Love” >>