FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 09, 2005
Alzheimer's Foundation of America and MedicAlert® Announce New ID Bracelet for Alzheimer's Disease
TURLOCK, CA—MedicAlert®, the world's leading emergency medical information service, and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), a national organization that focuses on care, today will begin marketing a new identification bracelet with a color-coded symbol specifically designed to symbolize Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in order to help individuals in emergency situations.
The dementia ID bracelet is part of a newly formed strategic alliance between the two nonprofit organizations. The groups will work together to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and the need for emergency preparedness, including marketing the bracelets, developing educational brochures and providing information about both organizations to each other's members.
The new identification bracelet has a teal MedicAlert® emblem to denote that an individual has Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, marking the first time that MedicAlert® is utilizing a colored emblem to symbolize a specific disease. In an emergency, the emblem alerts medical professionals or first responders to call MedicAlert®'s 24-hour hotline to access electronic health records containing vital medical and contact information about each wearer.
Caregivers can easily obtain and update personal information in the system, including medication dosages, allergies, implanted devices, physician and family contacts, insurance information, organ donation specifications, and advance directives.
Membership in MedicAlert®, which includes a bracelet with the teal emblem, a printed electronic health record summary, 24-hour emergency response service, patient identification, emergency contact and family notification service, and 24-hour customer service, costs $35 the first year and a $20 subscription each year thereafter. AFA and its member organizations will provide a special code that offers a $5 discount off the first year of membership.
"In an emergency, MedicAlert® is a catalyst for the aid and safety of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. The teal symbol answers the critical need for quick assessment and identification, and gives families an added level of comfort," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer.
According to the AFA, an estimated five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease. By mid-century, this could triple to 16 million. Symptoms of dementia typically include loss of verbal skills and wandering patterns, both of which place individuals at high risk and prompt the need for identification tools such as MedicAlert®.
"We applaud the Alzheimer's Foundation of America for its commitment to the needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias," said Paul Kortschak, president and chief executive officer of MedicAlert®. "The alliance reinforces our own mission to protect and save lives."
Founded in 1956, MedicAlert® is one of the world's largest nonprofit membership organizations with a mission to protect and save lives. The MedicAlert Electronic Health Record provides a secure and seamless transfer of identification and medical information to health and safety professionals 24 hours a day anywhere in the world, thereby ensuring patient safety and improving the quality of their care.
Headquartered in Turlock, CA, MedicAlert® has affiliates in nine countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand that help serve its four million members around the globe. For more information about MedicAlert services, please visit www.medicalert.org or call 1-800-ID-ALERT.
About Alzheimer's Foundation of America
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America was founded in 2002 by a consortium of organizations across the United States to fill the gap that existed on a national level to assure quality of care to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and to their families. Headquartered in New York, AFA unites member organizations in nearly all 50 states to collaborate on resources, program design and implementation, education, and national initiatives about early detection.
AFA offers a host of comprehensive services and programs for individuals with dementia and their families, including a nationwide hotline with referrals to local resources, counseling by certified social workers, educational materials, and training for healthcare professionals. Its member organizations from coast to coast provide an array of hands-on services, such as support groups, adult day services programs and respite care. For more information about AFA, please visit www.alzfdn.org or call 866-AFA-8484.
Contact: Carol Steinberg