Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 3, 2005

Dementia Caregivers will Connect via Unique, Ongoing Teleconferences

NEW YORK, NY—Sallie may be in Chicago, Tom may be in New Orleans and Kathy may be in Maui, but each week they will all be able to "meet" on common ground-via a new teleconferencing service designed for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses.

The free interactive service, called "Care Connection," is believed to be the first of its kind that is dementia-specific and available to a large number of caregivers nationwide. It will link up to 150 caregivers on the phone for an hour at a time. Part support group, part educational, the sessions will be a mix of coaching and guest speakers with plenty of free minutes for Q&As and sharing.

The program is a strategic alliance between the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) and Ask Dr. Jamie; Jamie Rotnofsky, a psychologist and professional life coach, will host the teleconferences.

Care Connection will begin March 3 at 9 pm EST. The guest speaker will be Mark L. Warner, the author of The Complete Guide to Alzheimer's-Proofing Your Home and one of the nation's foremost authorities on modifying living environments for those with dementia; Warner will discuss how the environment affects eating, bathing and other activities of daily living, and steps caregivers can take to make their homes more Alzheimer's-friendly.

Each month, Care Connection will be held live on the first and fourth Thursdays at 9 pm EST. Callers can listen to prerecorded sessions on the second Thursday at 6 pm EST and on the third Thursday at 12 pm EST. Caregivers can call in toll-free at 877-AFA-2992; the guest identification number is 271004. For more information, visit www.askdrjamie.net .

"Family caregivers, most of who are on call 24/7, crave-and need-information and emotional support to get through this. Care Connection will be invaluable in that regard, especially as this population continues to increase," said Eric J. Hall, the AFA's chief executive officer.

The service will fill a void for those who are unable to attend a support group because they can't leave their loved one or don't have one in their community, he added.

Noted Rotnofsky: "Care Connection removes the distance and time barriers between the caregiver and the resources available to them."

The phone coaching is being introduced at a time when the number of cases of Alzheimer's disease is climbing, estimated to triple by mid-century. The disease, which results in loss of memory and other cognitive functions, strikes an estimated one in ten Americans aged 65 and older and nearly half of those 85 and older.

The two organizations opted for teleconferencing, versus an Internet chat room, in part to accommodate caregivers who are not computer savvy. According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, less than one-third of those aged 65 and older had ever used the Internet at all.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a nonprofit organization that focuses on "together for care…in addition to cure" for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families. Its services include a toll-free hotline, counseling by certified social workers, educational materials, referrals to local resources, identification and search programs, and a free caregiver magazine, Vantage™. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org .

Ask Dr Jamie is a professional coaching and psychotherapy service that assists individuals and organizations in focusing on doing things differently to achieve real results. Its services include professional education, one-on-one coaching, tele-classes and psychotherapy. For more information, call toll-free 800-927-7930 or visit www.askdrjamie.net .



Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 1-866-AFA-8484