The Alzheimer's Foundation of America Helpline: 1-866-232-8484

You can connect with the organization's Master's-level licensed social workers by calling the helpline. You can also connect by Skype, live chat or email. Some people may feel uncomfortable talking by phone and thus prefer these other approaches. See the organization's website (www.AlzFdn.org) for instructions on how to access each feature.

The team is available 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. At other times you can leave a voice message or send an email and a social worker will respond as soon as possible. They will answer your questions and/or direct you to appropriate local and national resources to meet your needs. No question is too small; no concern is too insignificant.

Like the Alzheimer's Association, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America assists people with memory loss themselves, their family caregivers, professional caregivers and the general public. It handles all types of calls, beginning with advice on getting a diagnosis and including a full spectrum of issues of concern to callers, such as identifying warning signs of the disease and how to navigate unexpected changes in behavior.

The team uses a family- and whole-person approach, advising people on biological, psychological, social and financial problems. It also deals with preventive issues such as avoiding falls or defusing difficult family situations.

In addition, the staff helps people navigate role changes, such as when children or spouses become the "parent" to their loved ones, and offers practical solutions to common problems, including communication, wandering or dealing with agitation.

Finally, they help callers learn to advocate for the person with Alzheimer's through care planning meeting, referrals to long-term care ombudsmen and more.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,700 member organizations nationwide. Its mission is to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their family caregivers through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.

Visit the website (www.AlzFdn.org) for further details.

Reprinted with permission of Marie Marley

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Marie Marley

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