RSS

Category Archives: awareness

Congressional Task Force Leaders call for Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness

Last week I wrote about baby boomers and Alzheimer’s. The article, Ten Million Baby Boomers likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s during their lifetime, pointed out the potential devastating effects Alzheimer’s disease could have on baby boomers unless a cure or remedy is found. Today, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), House co-chairs for the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, called for earlier diagnosis, better care coordination, more support for geriatric training and affordable long-term care options. They called on the presidential candidates to address this issue which is likely to become a great debate as baby boomers grow older.

“According to current estimates, millions of baby boomers and their families will be struck by Alzheimer’s disease during the next decade,” said Markey. “It is crucial that Congress and the next administration take an active role in securing funding to diagnose and ultimately defeat this dreadful disease.”


Co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease Call on Presidential Candidates for Increased Attention to Diagnosis, Treatment of Dementia
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Survey Shows Lack of Dialogue with Clinicians about Memory Concerns

House co-chairs for the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), called on the presidential candidates to consider the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias on those diagnosed, their loved ones, and federal and local healthcare systems at a Capitol Hill briefing today.

The representatives called for earlier diagnosis, better care coordination, more support for geriatric training and affordable long-term care options.

“According to current estimates, millions of baby boomers and their families will be struck by Alzheimer’s disease during the next decade,” said Markey. “It is crucial that Congress and the next administration take an active role in securing funding to diagnose and ultimately defeat this dreadful disease.”

Added Smith: “To avoid being overwhelmed by the pending tidal wave of Alzheimer’s patients, we need a full court press on research into effective treatments today, not next year or the year after. But, equally important, we also need to ratchet up education to replace the fear of seniors and their families with useful information on prevention and available treatments.”

Also at the briefing, Richard E, Powers, M.D., chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), highlighted recent survey results that indicate serious deficiencies in the health care system’s ability to recognize and subsequently treat dementia. The AFA survey found that an overwhelming number of Americans with memory concerns fail to report them to their doctors despite visits within the past six months.

In addition, Gary Andres, Ph.D, vice chairman of policy and research, Dutko Worldwide, today released results of a new national poll on public perceptions about Alzheimer’s disease, including support for screening tests and the need for political candidates and legislators to address this health-related issue.

In light of these findings, Powers urged Americans to take advantage of free memory screenings during AFA’s upcoming National Memory Screening Day on November 18, an annual initiative aimed at promoting proper detection and education about memory issues and successful aging.

“We need to make conversations about memory concerns more the norm rather than the exception—to bring the issue into the open in doctor’s offices and on public policy agendas,” said Powers. “Not all memory problems are related to Alzheimer’s disease, but when they are, it is important to obtain an early diagnosis, proper treatment and support services in order to improve quality of life.”

AFA’s survey involved 2,178 participants in National Memory Screening Day last November. Key findings include:

* More than two-thirds (68 percent) self-reported memory complaints, but only one in five (21 percent) had discussed them with their healthcare providers;
* Failure to communicate occurred despite recent visits to their primary care physicians; of those with memory concerns, 40 percent had seen their primary care physician within the last month and 44 percent had an appointment within the last six months;
* Nearly one-quarter of respondents (21 percent) said they kept their memory concerns to themselves;
* Those who came in for screenings had other healthcare concerns that are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease: 18 percent said they are depressed, 16 percent have diabetes, and 14 percent said they are obese.

Currently, AFA is gearing up for its 6 th annual National Memory Screening Day, which will be held on November 18 during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Free confidential screenings will be available nationwide at community sites, including the entire chain of 1,100 Kmart pharmacies, local Alzheimer’s agencies, senior centers, assisted living facilities, adult day centers and doctor’s offices. For more information, visit http://www.nationalmemoryscreening.org or call 866-AFA-8484.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of 950 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by dementia. AFA services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit http://www.alzfdn.org.

Amazon.com Widgets

Advertisements
 

New Alzheimer’s Social Awareness Postage Stamp Unveiled


The stamp is an effort to increase knowledge and raise public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease . The 42-cent Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp will be available at Post Offices nationwide beginning October 17, 2008.

New Alzheimer’s Social Awareness Postage Stamp Unveiled
Stamp recognizes importance of knowing more about Alzheimer’s Disease

SAN FRANCISCO — James Larkin, U.S. Postal Service Senior Plant Manager in San Francisco and Patricia Garamendi, assistant general manager, California Exposition and State Fair and wife of Lt. Gov. John Garamendi yesterday unveiled the new Alzheimer’s Awareness commemorative postage stamp as part of a special presentation at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America National Concepts in Care Conference. The conference took place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

The stamp recognizes the importance of knowing more about Alzheimer’s in an effort to help raise awareness. The 42-cent Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp will be available at Post Offices nationwide beginning October 17, 2008.

“For more than half a century, the Postal Service has issued special stamps to help raise public awareness about important health and social issues. Today, we are proud to use the program to call attention to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Larkin. “It is our goal — and our expectation — that the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp will encourage the public to learn to recognize the symptoms of the disease, understand what to do for those who have the disease, and lend their support to find a cure.”

Garamendi delivered the keynote presentation to the nearly 250 family caregivers and healthcare professionals attending the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America conference. She told her own story of the special relationship she has with her mother, who has had Alzheimer’s disease for about nine years and is now cared for by her and her husband John.

“The intimate knowledge we have living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease has only strengthened my resolve and that of my husband to try to do all we can to educate people about Alzheimer’s disease, the importance of memory screening and the essential role that family and committed caregivers have in making the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease better,” Garamendi said.

Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, said the unveiling of the stamp was especially meaningful to conference attendees, most of whom were caregivers.

“We hope this heartfelt stamp will help spread the passion and commitment to the cause felt by caregivers around the world,” Hall said. “The Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp sends a powerful message that we must focus more attention on the need for care and a cure for this devastating disease.”

Experts estimate that more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. The disease initially affects the parts of the brain that control language, thought and memory, and progressively causes difficulty in carrying out daily activities. It is the most common form of dementia among older people, and it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Art director Ethel Kessler worked with illustrator Matt Mahurin to draw attention to the importance of the caregiver for those who have Alzheimer’s disease. Three words — care, support, research — appear in the selvage in the upper right corner of the stamp sheet.

Amazon.com Widgets

 
 
 
%d bloggers like this: