The Fight Against Alzheimer’s

Image courtesy Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter

Providing Support and Education for Living with Alzheimer's

It happens every 66 seconds.

With relentless regularity, nearly every single minute of every day another American develops Alzheimer’s.

By mid-century, the pace will double to every 33 seconds – resulting in nearly two more people per minute with Alzheimer’s.

In Colorado as well, the numbers are skyrocketing — going from 67,000 today to 92,000 by 2025.

And the number of those with the disease is only the beginning. For every person diagnosed, the lives of at least three other people have been changed forever, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Grandfather and grandson-editedIt’s a serious health problem, growing more serious with each passing year.

Fortunately, the Alzheimer’s Association is waging a multi-front war on this disease and has been for more than 25 years.

The focus of the Alzheimer’s Association and its Colorado chapter is to provide education and support for those who are diagnosed and their caregivers. The organization gives that help through a robust offering of education and programs, as well as providing counseling and serving as a resource for information on the disease, care providers, physicians and research.

“Support can be needed at the time of diagnosis or even as they recognize some symptoms and don’t know what to do about it. We have a 24/7 helpline with trained counselors who can talk and give counsel on where to go for help or support,” says Tina Wells, director of education and outreach for the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Lisa Carbo in New Orleans, LA. Lisa, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's, lives in an apartment that is on the second floor of her mother's house. Her mother is in the later stage of the disease.

Lisa Carbo in New Orleans, LA. Lisa, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, lives in an apartment that is on the second floor of her mother’s house. Her mother is in the later stage of the disease.

The umbrella of education and support also includes a clinical research matching program, professional training programs for assisted living staff and first responders, and fundraising.

Boulder County Alzheimer’s Programs

Those efforts are going strong in Boulder County, with a recently hired Boulder County coordinator, Ralph Patrick, who is responsible for outreach and education in the area. Currently, there are a number of support groups that meet regularly. Support groups are kept small to encourage interaction with typically 5-10 people.

Education classes are held regularly at various locations. Call the 24/7 helpline to get details or visit the website to view the calendar.

All programs are free to the participants. Monies raised through donations and events go to support these programs and other activities of the Alzheimer’s Association, including research for a cure.

Following is a list of the current Alzheimer’s programs in Boulder County. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter website.

SPARK!

SPARK! is a free cultural program for people experiencing mild memory loss and their family, friends, and guests. Next meeting dates are:

Boulder Museum of Natural History

  • Sunday, June 12
  • 2:00pm-3:30pm

 Nature Walk with Boulder County Open Space and Mountain Parks

  • Tuesday, August 9
  • 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Trail: To Be Determined

Soldier Shelters: Hide, protect, and serve

  • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Friday, August 26
  • 10:30am-12:00pm

For details and to register, please call 303-813-1669

Boulder County Memory Cafe

This early stage social engagement program offers a gathering place where people living with memory loss and their partner can meet others with mild cognitive loss, learn something new, engage in something creative, get some physical activity, or discover resources and learn strategies for living with memory loss.

Boulder Public Library

  • 1001 Arapahoe Blvd
  • 2nd Friday, monthly
  • 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Louisville Recreation Center

  • 900 Via Appia Way
  • 1st Monday, monthly
  • 10:00-11:30 a.m.

To register, please call the helpline at 800-272-3900

Boulder County Support Groups

Caregiver Support Groups

The Caregiver Support Groups provide caregivers with updated information, emotional support, and problem-solving as related to the challenges of giving care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

East Boulder Senior Center

  • 1st Thursday, monthly
  • 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • 2nd Tuesday, monthly
  • 11:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Longmont Senior Center

  • 2nd Tuesday, monthly
  • 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Louisville Senior Center

  • 2nd Thursday, monthly
  • 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Coping With Change and Loss Support Group

The Coping with Change and Loss Support Group provides caregivers with the opportunity to share and process the changes and losses that have occurred and to find meaning in the caregiving journey.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder

  • 5001 Pennsylvania Ave Boulder, CO 80303
  • 2nd Wednesday, monthly
  • 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more information or a complete list of Support Groups, call 800.272.3900.

Clinical Trials

Even if you haven’t yet been impacted personally, you can get involved in Alzheimer’s and dementia research studies that could change the course of Alzheimer’s disease and improve the many lives it affects. People of all types are needed to participate, including healthy volunteers, people with Alzheimer’s and caregivers of all ages and ethnicity.

Through TrialMatch®, a free matching service for clinical studies, potential participants are connected to physicians conducting studies. Currently, that includes more than 260 clinical trials being conducted across the country.

To find out more, click here.

The Boulder Source is pleased to honor the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association as our Featured Friend for May, which is Older Americans Month. Please stay tuned for more about upcoming fundraising events such as The Longest Day on June 20, and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on August 13.

For support, resources or questions about symptoms, call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

Read our previous post, Leading the Charge for Hope.

Learn about the signs and symptoms visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Find out more about the work of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Get more information about programs and resources available through the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

To  join the cause by donating, click here.

Images courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter.