What can one do, concretely, about advocating for Alzheimer’s disease support?

This year as we gear up for another Virginia General Assembly session it seemed timely to ask advocates across Virginia for their advice on getting involved. Advocacy does not have to be an intimidating endeavor. In fact, you would probably be surprised to learn that you advocate and don’t even know it or recognize it as such. Have you ever asked for more specific support for a loved in a facility? Have you ever helped a loved one navigate insurance and other benefit processes? Have you ever participated in a loved one’s care plan meeting? Then you’ve definitely been an advocate and you’re on your way to successfully advocating for policy changes!   Here we’ve asked some of our favorite advocates for their tips and tricks for doing it. From advocacy within your local communities to statewide legislatures, our experts have compiled some of their best advice to get you started. We hope that you find them to be not only useful, but inspiring. One person can make a surprising difference and that person could be you.   Charlotte Arbogast, MSG Dementia Services Coordinator Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services Division for Aging If you have a question that you think our colleagues ought to answer, please submit it through the Contact Us section.   Martha Watkins, Alzheimer’s Advocate and former member of the Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission   Build your relationship with your State Delegate, State Senator and Congressman/woman Determine your approach to the official by knowing their interests and committees they serve.  For example, a Delegate or Senator may be interested in the...

Caregiver Fatigue

In this month’s edition, we asked a former caregiver and two gerontologists for their perspectives on compassion fatigue, which generally refers to the stress, strain or burnout that caregivers may experience after extended periods of caregiving. As you might imagine, just as our bodies can grow weary of lifting and transferring loved ones, the hearts and minds of both professional and family caregivers also need to be nourished and supported. In Virginia, an estimated 447,000 caregivers provided 509 million hours of unpaid care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in 2013. For some caregivers, it’s not always easy to ask for help, and yet others have run out of places or people to ask. It takes courage to say “uncle,” to recognize our limitations and reflect on our own needs. If you are experiencing compassion fatigue, AlzPossible, its partners, and the many wonderful state and local organizations in the aging and dementia networks can be great resources. Please ask. If necessary, keep asking. In many respects, caregivers in all capacities and from all walks of life are the backbone of not just our health CARE system but of our society, a society predicated on caring for each other across the lifespan. If you’re not currently a caregiver for someone with dementia, odds are you know someone who is. Acknowledge their efforts, listen to their accomplishments and struggles, and offer to help. Charlotte Arbogast, MSG Dementia Services Coordinator Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services Division for Aging If you have a question that you think our colleagues ought to answer, please submit it through the Contact...

What next steps would you suggest for someone who has just received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or and related dementias?

Welcome to the inaugural bimonthly “Ask the Expert” forum! AlzPossible partners are pleased to offer this new forum on the website. We get a ton of questions from our live webinars and we are not always able to answer all of them. With the “Ask the Expert” section, we will be taking some of our most popular or frequently asked questions and inviting colleagues to answer them. Reflecting on the AlzPossible mission to provide interdisciplinary information and trainings, we wanted the “Ask the Expert” section to do the same. For this month’s edition, we are pleased to have a representative from the medical field, the Alzheimer’s Association, and an individual who was recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Reading through their advice on this month’s topic, you’ll quickly see that our colleagues are unanimous on one aspect: You are not alone. In fact, in Virginia, there are over 97,000 who have been through this, having received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. We hope that professionals visiting this page will share this with their patients, clients and residents, as well as in their personal lives with friends and family. Together, we can all make sure that Virginia is dementia-capable moving into the future. If you have a question that you think our colleagues ought to answer, please submit it through the Contact Us section.   Charlotte Arbogast Patricia Lacey, COO, Alzheimer’s Association Southestern Virginia Chapter, responds: What would I recommend to someone who just got a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease?  The first thing I would say is take a deep breath and realize there is a...

Oral Health and Dementia

Join us for the first webinar hosted on our newly designed site on Friday, the 29th of August, 2014, at 1pm Eastern Time for a live and engaging presentation featuring Drs. Patricia Brown Bonwell and E. Ayn Welleford.  Review additional details and registration information...

JOIN US TODAY!

Our Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Webinar will be hosted today at 1:30 pm US Eastern Time: http://www.alzpossible.org/webinars-2/parkinsons-disease-dementia/     ...
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