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Supports for Families Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease Erin Kirkland, Outreach Specialist Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Agency of Alaska.

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Presentation on theme: "Supports for Families Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease Erin Kirkland, Outreach Specialist Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Agency of Alaska."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supports for Families Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease Erin Kirkland, Outreach Specialist Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Agency of Alaska

2 Today’s Objectives Provide brief overview of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias Describe ADRAA programs, services, and supports

3 Alzheimer’s Disease “A progressive, degenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain” Leads to loss of function and death of those cells Characterized by impaired thinking, memory, and behavior Most common cause of dementia among those age 65 and older

4 Dementia is… not a disease, but an umbrella term to describe a group of symptoms, including… Loss of intellectual function Loss of memory Confusion Behavior, personality

5 Causes of Dementia Irreversible Alzheimer’s disease Pick’s disease Parkinson’s disease Lewy body dementia Vascular accident Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease Reversible Depression Medication interaction Thyroid disorder Acute alcohol abuse Anemia Electrolyte imbalance

6 Alzheimer’s Disease: Cause? No concrete cause has been determined; age/genetics thought to be risk factors Diagnosis made through elimination of other conditions/diseases Sticky plaques on nerve cells prevent neuron firing (information transfer) Damage to cells done years before symptoms appear

7 Current AD Facts 5 million people in U.S. currently affected 4,500 Alaskans 1 in 10 people have family member w/ AD $148 billion spent annually on direct/indirect care

8 Other points to ponder Men and women affected equally AD crosses all socio- economic and racial lines Each person affected in a different way… For a different amount of time Active brains are less likely to contract AD

9 ADRAA Programs/Services  Outreach/Education  Care Coordination  In-Home Services

10 Outreach/Education Offices in Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley, Fairbanks, Homer Provides access to all ADRAA services and programs Support Groups, family/provider consultations, education and training opportunities throughout the State.

11 Support Groups Regular, scheduled groups designed to offer peer support in a non- judgmental atmosphere Caregiver support groups held on Thursdays Memory Loss group held on Tuesdays for 8 weeks, all participants pre- screened

12 Education Opportunities Savvy Caregiver: 6-week class for families caring locally ABC Presentations: Offered to anyone interested in ADRD. Topics vary Research Forum: Annual event to provide Alaskans w/ current trends in research, treatment of AD Professional Caregiver Trainings/CEU’s

13 Mini-Grant Program Grant funds for services and items Alaskans diagnosed w/ ADRD Essential items to improve quality of life and/or increase independent functioning Maximum request is $2,500; multiple applications = $2,500 are accepted. Applications reviewed throughout year.

14 Care Coordination Care-planning services for adults in Anchorage area. Short/long term Assistance w/ locating and accessing community services. Eligible recipients are any individual w/ AD, and/or a frail elder age 60 or over Private pay ($55.00/hr) or Choice Medicaid Waiver

15 In-Home Services Respite: Short break for family caregivers Chore: help for seniors not physically or cognitively able to do household chores, meal prep, laundry, etc. CDPCA: Selected by consumer. Consumer trains, supervises for Activities of Daily Living. Agency does payroll, insurance, etc.

16 In-Home Services, cont’d Eligible clients: Anyone diagnosed w/ AD or related dementia, and/or frail elder age 60 or older. Private pay $22.44/hr Sliding scale based on household income Medicaid Statewide service

17 Why Contact ADRAA? Diagnoses of AD can be overwhelming; families often feel lost Agency staff can outline a “plan of action” to get started on needed support Educational benefits and peer support create sense of “knowledge is power” Help = Strength

18 How to Contact Us… In-person: 1750 Abbott Road Anchorage, AK :00am – 5:00pm M-F By telephone: toll free in AK Website:


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