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Regional Facilities That Fight Alzheimer’s PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 07 June 2012 04:32

The Alzhemier's Association/ Southland Chapter, which has regional centers in Northridge and greater Los Angeles area envisions a world without Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. It also wants to eliminate Alzheimer's disease and related dementia through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The Alzheimer's Association was founded by concerned family caregivers in 1980 and incorporated as a non-profit in 1984. In early 2002, the Los Angeles Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association merged with the Riverside/San Bernardino Chapter to become the California Southland Chapter, the largest affiliate in the United States as measured by membership, active volunteer participation, range of programs and services.

The association is the number one organization in the fight against Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. It is a voluntary health organization committed to research, care and support for those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and their families.

It is also the Largest and oldest organization working in the field of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Nearly 1 million people are helped yearly by our services. It is Donor supported, with 85 percent of our income from individual donations.

Our Chapter is an active partner in the California Council, a council of Chapters headquartered in Sacramento, California, dedicated primarily to public policy.

Dementia by itself is not a disease, but rather a group of symptoms that can include memory loss, confusion and changes in behavior. According to the Web site, Memory loss that intrudes into daily life is not a normal part of getting older.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. It attacks the brain and adversely impacts memory, thinking and behavior. The disease is progressive and fatal. At present, there is no cure.

The victims of Alzheimer's disease are growing, and the statistics are staggering:

• Every 68 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's disease

• In the United States, 5.4 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The huge aging "baby boom" population could bring this number to 16 million by 2050

• In California alone over 588,000 people have the disease, a number expected to more than double by 2030

• In Los Angeles County the Department of Health reported that deaths from Alzheimer's disease grew 220% over the past decade, while rates for cancer and heart disease were down

• One in 8 people over the age 55 will get Alzheimer's disease. Half of those over age 85 will get the disease

• Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in California

• Caregivers and families are also greatly impacted financially, emotionally and physically The direct and indirect cost of Alzheimer's and other dementias cost American business $200 billion annually, according to a statistical abstract of U.S. data on Alzheimer's disease published by the association in 2009.

There are a variety of programs and services provided by the Association's regional centers.

Support Groups

There are over 100 Alzheimer's Association affiliated support groups in the Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino areas. Support groups are held in various languages and serve caregivers, adult children, people with early stage Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and those in need of bereavement support.

Early Stage Services

Recognizing that people are now being diagnosed at earlier stages of the disease and at earlier ages, the Association has developed programs to serve the unique needs of these populations. Services include information and referral, family consultation, and The Memory Club—an educational support group for people with early Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and their care partners. Additionally, we have begun organizing forums and town halls created by and for people with early memory loss.

Helpline/Contact Center

The Helpline (800) 272- 3900 is part of the National Alzheimer's Association Contact Center. It provides callers with 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week assistance and includes translation service for over 100 languages. Callers can get referrals to local services and educational programs, assistance with challenging behaviors, and information about the disease and its treatment.

Care Consultation

Over 800 families each year are provided with one-on-one care consultations. Caregivers receive a comprehensive assessment of their needs and work with a professional counselor to develop an action plan that helps connect them with appropriate services.

Medic Alert® +Alzheimer's Association Safe Return®

This program is an identification bracelet program for people who are at risk for wandering and saves hundreds of lives annually.

Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zone™

A monitoring system for individuals with the disease, allowing them to maintain their independence and enjoy the emotional security of familiar routines and surroundings.

Public Policy

The Alzheimer's Association Public Policy efforts provide an opportunity for individuals and families dealing with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia to impact the decisions made by state and federal legislators and government agencies.

Community & Caregiver Education

Educational events are offered in the community throughout the year, in a variety of languages. The Association partners with community agencies. Over 2,000 people are reached annually in events that take place across the chapter region.

Professional Training

Dementia care training programs are offered for healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, social work- ers, certified nurse's aides, and home care workers.

Adult Day Services Institute (ADSI)

The Edelman ADSI provides resources and training to adult day services providers serving individuals with dementia through information and resources, advocacy and public awareness, and training and technical assistance.

Mulitcultural Programs

We provide special services to reach Latino, African American and Asian/Pacific Islander populations.

The California Southland Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association serves the community through these offices and regional service centers:

Greater San Fernando Valley regional service center

• 16933 Parthenia Street, Suite 200 Northridge, CA 91343 Phone (818) 830-8590 Fax (818) 830-3740

• Los Angeles County Wilshire Boulevard Office 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90036 Phone (323) 938-3379 Fax (323) 938-1036 Helpline (800) 272-3900

• Greater East Los Angeles regional service center 133 North Sunol Drive #233 Los Angeles, CA 90063 Phone (323) 881-0574 Fax (323) 881-4718

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 June 2012 04:35