In only a few weeks, the global novel Coronavirus outbreak has evolved from one of general concern to a public health issue impacting all of our lives.
The disruption and isolation are challenging for all of us but may be especially difficult for those living with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia and other related dementias. It is very important that we come together to support each other during this time.
You are never alone. Alzheimer's Tennessee has offices throughout the state, and we are available to help families and our healthcare community. Of the 120,000 individuals who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or related dementias in Tennessee, 70 percent live at home alone or with a care partner. We also understand the anguish created by not being able to spend time sitting beside loved ones who reside at senior communities.
Alzheimer's Tennessee provides the following resources throughout Tennessee and in Southwest Virginia:
Our 24/7 Helpline is always available to be your gateway to services and support at 1(800) ALZ-GATE, or 1 (800) 259-4283. During regular business hours, local staff members of Alzheimer's Tennessee provide helpline support statewide.
We also have a weekly Virtual Support Group for Family Caregivers to connect via telephone, as dozens of our person-to-person support groups are currently suspended. Plan to connect on Mondays at 1 p.m. CST/2 p.m. EST. For details visit www.alztennessee.org/support-groups
Our online Caregiver Academy is available anytime at www.alzTennessee.org/academy and provides short, 3 to 5-minute videos on communication, behaviors, bathing, sundowning and a host of other topics for caregivers. Thousands of caregivers have viewed and benefited from this educational resource.
For those persons with a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment or early stage Alzheimer's, we are transitioning to weekly telephone/online Memory Cafés. Connect with others who have a diagnosis and are navigating life.
- The NEW Statewide Memory Café is scheduled for Tuesdays at 10 a.m. CST/11 a.m. EST.
- The Knox Regional Memory Café will connect on Thursdays at 10 a.m. EST.
- For details about how to call in or join Memory Cafés online, call 1 (800) 259-4283.
Our online Live Well With Diagnosis Academy at www.alzTennessee.org/livewell is a wonderful series of short 3 to 5-minute videos for persons with a diagnosis to hear from others who have managed to live well with their diagnosis. It provides incredible insight for all of us to hear directly from those living with Alzheimer's. Thousands have been watching these powerful "in their own words" videos.
We are introducing Weekly Enrichment Sessions featuring experts sharing about topics that all of us will appreciate - from relaxation techniques to chair exercises. A new video will be available online every Friday.
Visit www.alztennessee.org/help/enrichment and sign up to receive weekly notices. Our first Enrichment Session this Friday will focus on our feelings surrounding this strange time - and why we may all be experiencing grief.
We have reached out to hospital personnel, first responders, law enforcement agencies, senior facilities and others to offer help should a primary caregiver be hospitalized or isolated because of COVID-19. We have resource information for healthcare providers and families and are prepared to help family members who may be placed in a situation for the first time to provide support or care for an individual with cognitive impairment.
To find tips for staying healthy and maintaining well-being during the coronavirus outbreak, the CDC website is being continually updated.
How You Can Help
If you are wondering how you can help support the Alzheimer's community, we want to invite you to join our efforts. Here are ways you can help:
Make Face Masks. Face Masks are in critical short supply. We are mobilizing volunteers to make face masks to be distributed to assisted living communities, home health agencies and nursing homes to help protect residents and clients. To join this effort and see the recommended pattern for sewing, please visit www.alzTennessee.org/facemask.
Stay connected. We hope you will share about the many ways Alzheimer's Tennessee is supporting the Alzheimer's community.
Like us on Facebook. Please "Like" our Facebook page www.facebook.com/alzTN to follow local tips and positive shout-outs.
Check on a family with Alzheimer's or related dementia.
Think of creative ways to continue FUNdraising for the Alzheimer's Tennessee "Walks To Make Alzheimer's a Memory." Find a Walk in your community at alzTennessee.org/Walks.
Make a Donation with PayPal