ACT NOW to double your impact. – Alzheimer’s Association

ACT NOW to double your impact. – Alzheimer’s Association

Tomorrow is the last day of the year — which means time is running out to make your gift to the Alzheimer’s Association while it can go TWICE as far.
Thanks to a generous, anonymous donor, every donation we receive by December 31 — up to a total of $200,000 — can make double the impact in our efforts to fight Alzheimer’s disease. This is a limited chance to fund much-needed care and support services, as well as critical research with the potential to change the future of Alzheimer’s.
Before 2016 comes to an end, your gift of $35 can become $70, $60 can become $120 or $120 can become $240.
To take advantage of this incredible opportunity, you must donate by midnight tomorrow. Please help us reach our $200,000 goal with a tax-deductible gift today. With your support, we can give people facing Alzheimer’s disease and their families help and hope in the new year.

Start 2017 with 17 new learning opportunities

Start 2017 with 17 new learning opportunities

If you are curious about memory loss, look at “Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters” or “The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.” If you need specific knowledge or just something to make life easier, try “Effective Communication Strategies” or “Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body: Tips from the Latest Research.” No matter where you are in the journey, we have a program that will help.

Education Programs Calendar

There are currently 46 education program events listed in our database. To view and register for our events, use the search tool below.

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Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters

The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Legal and Financial Planning

Learning to Connect: Relating to the Person with Alzheimer’s

Living with Alzheimer’s: For Middle-Stage Caregivers

Caregiver Stress: Relief, Acceptance and Empowerment

Understanding Early Memory Loss

Dementia Conversations

Living with Alzheimer’s: For Late Stage Caregivers

Healthy Habits for a Healthier You

Alzheimer’s Research: Get Informed, Get Involved

Effective Communication Strategies

Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior

Your Service, Your Health, Our Focus

Live Webinars

Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body: Tips from the Latest Research

Fighting Dementia Through Joyful Living

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Wandering can jeopardize the safety of a person living with Alzheimer’s

Wandering can jeopardize the safety of a person living with Alzheimer’s

Six in 10 people with dementia will wander. An individual living with Alzheimer’s may not remember his or her name or address and can become disoriented, even in familiar places. Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous, but there are strategies and services to help prevent it.

Wandering and Getting Lost

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Six in 10 people with dementia will wander. A person with Alzheimer’s may not remember his or her name or address, and can become disoriented, even in familiar places. Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous, but there are strategies and services to help prevent it.

Who is at risk of wandering?

Anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk is at risk for wandering. Even in the early stages of dementia, a person can become disoriented or confused for a period of time. It’s important to plan ahead for this type of situation. Be on the lookout for the following warning signs:

Wandering and getting lost is common among people with dementia and can happen during any stage of the disease.

  • Returns from a regular walk or drive later than usual
  • Tries to fulfill former obligations, such as going to work
  • Tries or wants to “go home,” even when at home
  • Is restless, paces or makes repetitive movements
  • Has difficulty locating familiar places like the bathroom, bedroom or dining room
  • Asks the whereabouts of current or past friends and family
  • Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets done (e.g., moves around pots and dirt without actually planting anything)
  • Appears lost in a new or changed environment

We Can Help

The Alzheimer’s Association offers programs designed to assist in the monitoring and return of those who wander.

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Tips to prevent wandering

Wandering can happen, even if you are the most diligent of caregivers. Use the following strategies to help lower the chances:

  • Carry out daily activities.
    Having a routine can provide structure. Learn about creating a daily plan.
  • Identify the most likely times of day that wandering may occur.
    Plan activities at that time. Activities and exercise can reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness.
  • Reassure the person if he or she feels lost, abandoned or disoriented.
    If the person with dementia wants to leave to “go home” or “go to work,” use communication focused on exploration and validation. Refrain from correcting the person. For example, “We are staying here tonight. We are safe and I’ll be with you. We can go home in the morning after a good night’s rest.”
  • Ensure all basic needs are met.
    Has the person gone to the bathroom? Is he or she thirsty or hungry?
  • Avoid busy places that are confusing and can cause disorientation.
    This could be a shopping malls, grocery stores or other busy venues.

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  • Place locks out of the line of sight.
    Install either high or low on exterior doors, and consider placing slide bolts at the top or bottom.

    Home Safety Checklist

    Go to Alzheimer’s Navigator and take the safety survey to receive a free, customized home safety checklist.
    Learn more:
    Alzheimer’s Navigator

  • Camouflage doors and door knobs.
    Camouflage doors by painting them the same color as the walls, or cover them with removable curtains or screens. Cover knobs with cloth the same color as the door or use childproof knobs.
  • Use devices that signal when a door or window is opened.
    This can be as simple as a bell placed above a door or as sophisticated as an electronic home alarm.
  • Provide supervision.
    Never lock the person with dementia in at home alone or leave him or her in a car without supervision.
  • Keep car keys out of sight.
    A person with dementia may drive off and be at risk of potential harm to themselves or others.
  • If night wandering is a problem:
    Make sure the person has restricted fluids two hours before bedtime and has gone to the bathroom just before bed. Also, use night lights throughout the home.
Make a plan

The stress experienced by families and caregivers when a person with dementia wanders and becomes lost is significant. Have a plan in place beforehand, so you know what to do in case of an emergency.

  • Keep a list of people to call on for help.
    Have telephone numbers easily accessible.

    When someone with dementia is missing:

    Begin search-and-rescue efforts immediately. Ninety-four percent of people who wander are found within 1.5 miles of where they disappeared.

  • Ask neighbors, friends and family to call if they see the person alone.
  • Keep a recent, close-up photo and updated medical information on hand to give to police.
  • Know your neighborhood.
    Pinpoint dangerous areas near the home, such as bodies of water, open stairwells, dense foliage, tunnels, bus stops and roads with heavy traffic.
  • Is the individual right or left-handed?
    Wandering generally follows the direction of the dominant hand.
  • Keep a list of places where the person may wander.
    This could include past jobs, former homes, places of worship or a restaurant.
  • Provide the person with ID jewelry.
    Enroll the person in MedicAlert®+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®.
  • If the person does wander, search the immediate area for no more than 15 minutes.
    Call “911” and report to the police that a person with Alzheimer’s disease — a “vulnerable adult” — is missing. A Missing Report should be filed and the police will begin to search for the individual. In addition, a report should be filed with MedicAlert+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return at 1.800.625.3780. First responders are trained to check with MedicAlert+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return when they locate a missing person with dementia. You do not need to be enrolled in MedicAlert+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return in order to file a missing report.

Program by Phone: Hiring In-Home Care

Program by Phone: Hiring In-Home Care

Join us on January 10, from 12 – 1 p.m. for an Educational Program by Phone on “Hiring In-Home Care: How to Chose Who to bring into Your Home.” You may realize you need assistance, but the decision to bring a home care worker your home is stressful because it involves many important considerations. Join us as we learn from an expert what questions to ask as you interview prospective providers.

Free: Educational Programs by Phone

.Are you too busy to attend an in-person education program? Our free Educational Programs by Phone are designed for busy people who aren’t able to attend a program outside of their home or office.

Register online below or by phone at 309.662.8392.
It’s easy! After registering, you will receive a toll free number to call plus materials to follow along with during the program. Call from your home, office, or car. You can listen in and even ask questions of our expert speakers.

Listen to Past Programs

Programs by Phone PDF



? Upcoming Programs (view description & register)

Hiring In-Home Care: How to Choose Who to Bring into Your Home
Tuesday | January 10, 2017 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Veterans Program: Your Service, Your Health, Our Focus
Tuesday | January 31, 2017 | 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. & 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Anxiety Relief: Aromatherapy and Hand Massage
Tuesday | February 14, 2017 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Legal and Financial Considerations in Dementia: Three Things You Can Do Today
Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


Supporting Couples Living with Dementia: How Spouses’ Roles Change
Tuesday | April 11, 2017 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

The Mediterranean Diet – Can Changes in Diet Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s disease?
Tuesday | May 9, 2017 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

How to Choose the Best Residential Care Option for Your Situation
Tuesday | June 13, 2017 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Listen to Past Programs

Caregiver’s School of Hard Knocks: One Man’s Journey

Learn the Amazing Ways That Music Can Help People With Memory Loss

Coping with Alzheimer’s Behaviors: Skills that Can Help You Today

Medications for Alzheimer’s and other Dementias: Benefits and Side Effects

Reducing the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

How Families Cope with Alzheimer’s disease

Successful Daily Plans for a Person With Alzheimer’s disease

Making the Move: Choosing a Nursing Home. Alzheimer’s Unit or Assisted Living Facility

Chef touched by Alzheimer’s shares importance of food, family and enjoying every moment

Chef touched by Alzheimer’s shares importance of food, family and enjoying every moment

Alzheimer’s has touched chef Madison Cowan’s life more than once, as both his father and father-in-law passed away from complications of the disease. He writes that the power is in the present moment, and it’s imperative to enjoy each other, especially during the holidays.

Alzheimer’s has touched Madison Cowan’s life more than once. Both his father and father-in-law passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Here he shares the importance of food, family memories and enjoying every moment this holiday season.

My most prominent holiday memory is of my stepmum, who I consider my mum. I recall entering her home to the aroma of fresh-baked pastries wafting through the door. She had 10 children, and although her holiday party would include nearly 25 people, she would put together every cake, pastry and pie herself. She was astounding.

She was also astounding through my father’s 12-year-struggle with Alzheimer’s.  The love and care she provided spoke to her strength and character.

My memories of holidays with my mum and dad are phenomenal. While I was growing up in London, my mum and Dad lived in the inner city of Detroit, and the time I was able to spend in the States with them over the holidays was magical. It was quite a respite to get away. When I was at home in America, all I felt was the warmth and safety that a child does. Because I had that protection at home, it was a beautiful place and time.

The recipe I associate the most with that time is my mum’s 7-Up cake. It was by no means a healthy option, but it was the lightest, most delicious thing I ever had in my life. I’m making it for the first time for my family this year, and they are holding me to that promise! She also made German shortcake, coconut layer cake, sweet potato pie, holiday rolls and pecan pie. I salivate just speaking about that time.

Dad, who loved that cake, was a big proud man who was just a shell of that when he died at the age of 78. He gave me an appreciation for life and taught me to always cherish my loved ones.

I watched my father struggle day in and day out in the 12 years that he lived with the disease, and I relate most of that time to my mum. She embraced me when she didn’t have to; she helped shape the man I became and am today. She made certain I knew my way around the kitchen and would never have to depend on anyone for a meal. That is sage advice I now impart to my own daughter.

Dad also taught me to focus on family. My daughter just received her winter report card with honors, so that is something we will celebrate. I only demand that she is a compassionate, open-minded person who respects herself and others – the educational portion is simply a bonus. It is a delight to spend two weeks off with her during this holiday season.

Although I am a shrewd businessman, when it comes to play, I am probably one of the biggest kids of all. We will spend our time in New York together cooking, shopping and watching vintage retro Christmas specials on the telly. I am well-versed in the holiday films – 1938’s “A Christmas Carol”, “The Little Drummer Boy”, “Rudolph”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “A Christmas Story” – all the hyper-holiday films. I especially enjoy the cheesy 1964 ‘B’ film “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!” With all of the things going on in the world, you have to be able to escape from it all from time to time.

Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. The power is in the present moment, and it’s imperative to enjoy each other. Focus on the things that are most important. My policy is this: if you’re not a positive person, check it on the other side of the door. I am all about good times, warmth, happiness and food. I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays. Be kind to one another.

About Madison: Madison Cowan is a family man and chef with roots in London, Jamaica and Detroit. CEO of Madison Cowan LLC, he is an author, producer and Food Network’s Iron Chef America & Chopped Grand Champion.


This cake has a feather-light texture and a buttery, crunchy topping.
Servings: 12 – 15

3 cups unbleached cake flour, sifted
2 cups unrefined cane sugar
1 pound unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
6 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
¾ cup 7-Up lemon soda, room temperature

Heat the oven to 375 F. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the remaining ingredients and blend with an electric hand mixer until smooth (begin slowly then increase to medium speed.) DO NOT OVERMIX.

Butter and lightly dust a fluted cake tin or two to three loaf tins with flour. Carefully pour the mixture into the tins as to not pack tight and bake mid-oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted paring knife or cake tester comes out clean.

Another tip is to keep the oven door closed and check doneness only after the first 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes and remove from tins. Serve simply with fresh seasonal berries and whipped cream.


This recipe pairs beautifully with a cheese board and holiday roasts.
Servings: Makes 1.5 quarts

2 12-ounce bags fresh cranberries
2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cubed
1 ½ tablespoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
Generous pinch red chili flakes
2 pinches sea salt
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup raw cane sugar
½ brown sugar, packed
1 cup full-bodied merlot
1 cup fresh apple cider

Combine everything together in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes until reduced. Remove from heat and allow to cool uncovered. Store in a mason jar in the fridge until ready to use. Bring to room temperature and remove bay leaves and cinnamon sticks before serving. This can be made several days in advance.

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