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Nov 2, 2009 1:00 PM  CST  

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month 

compiled by Staff of Alzheimer’s Family Services

In observance of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month we have compiled a list of services Alzheimer’s Family Services provides Pensacola and Northwest Florida.

 

Project Lifesaver

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may wander away from home at any stage of the illness. Many become “lost” trying to get “home” wherever that may be. Studies show that approximately 60% of Alzheimer’s patients will wander, and 70% will wander repeatedly. This can be a very dangerous situation and it represents a critical emergency. The patient is at the mercy of the elements, be it cold, heat or dehydration. Failure to take necessary medication can also result in serious problems. Project Lifesaver is a transmitting device used to track wandering Alzheimer’s patients and quickly and safely return them to their homes. The program works in conjunction with local law enforcement, fire departments, and search and rescue teams. The patient is fitted with a transmitter no bigger than a watch, which is worn on the wrist or ankle. Should the patient wander off, the caregiver can simply call 911 to begin a search. Search times that have normally been as long as days are reduced to less than an hour because of Project Lifesaver. For more information or enrollment in the program, please contact the AFS office and ask for the social worker.

 

Education and Workshops

AFS realizes the need to educate caregivers, healthcare professionals and our community about Alzheimer’s disease. Awareness and knowledge are accomplished through workshops/seminars, speaking engagements, participation in health fairs, talk television and radio shows and much more. Any group can reserve a speaker by calling the AFS office.

 

Support Groups

Alzheimer’s Family Services offers monthlysupport groups in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties in Florida, and in Escambia County, Alabama for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease. In many cases in the Florida areas, respite care can be provided so that a caregiver can attend a support group meeting.

Volunteer Services

Volunteers determine the success of Alzheimer’s Family Services. Little is accomplished through this organization without the assistance of our volunteers. To volunteer your time and talents, contact AFS at (850) 478-7790.

 

Newsletter

AFS stays in touch through its newsletter, “The Caring Times.” This newsletter has a circulation of more than 1,700 each month. It contains important dates, current information on the disease, caregiver tips and notes of encouragement. If you or someone you know would benefit by receiving this free newsletter, please call the AFS office. Back issues are available on the web at www.alzfamserv.org. You can also receive the newsletter electronically; just let us know by sending an email to: afs@alzfamserv.org.

 

Lending Library

AFS has a lending library of books, videos, and activities regarding Alzheimer’s and related memory disorders available to anyone in need. Resource donations may be made in memory or in honor of a loved one. Gifts will be acknowledged.

 

Referral Services

Calls and visits are received daily from persons seeking help with placement, financial or legal assistance, medical information, and support groups. One-on-one counseling and group counseling are available upon request.

 

Loan and Supply Closet

AFS maintains an inventory of non-medical equipment (shower chairs, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.) for loan. Incontinent briefs, and Ensure may also be available. Contact the AFS office to borrow or donate such equipment. Current needs: Ensure and large briefs.

 

The Caregiver’s Handbook

AFS provides the Caregiver’s Handbook at no cost upon request. The handbook contains information about Alzheimer’s disease, caregiver tips, signs and symptoms, contact information, and resources. Donations to ensure future printings of the handbook are appreciated.

 

Memory Screens

Alzheimer’s Family Services regularly conducts memory screens at various locations throughout its service area. Screenings are an essential tool to aid in early detection of Alzheimer’s or other related dementias. Memory screens cost $15; an appointment is required. Contact AFS at (850) 478-7790 to schedule your appointment.

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Source: Alzheimer's Family Services
http://www.alzfamserv.org

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