FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 25, 2005
Phone ‘Support Group' Offers a Connection to Dementia Caregivers
NEW YORK, NY— Embracing support services is the greatest gift caregivers can give themselves as they deal with the challenges of family members with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, Eric J. Hall, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), will tell caregivers participating in a unique teleconference service on November 3.
“Dementia caregivers are truly heroic, typically trying to take it all on by themselves. But they have to recognize that support can bring them to another level. With education and assistance, they'll take better care of themselves and will be energized to provide even better care of their loved ones,” Hall said.
Hall will deliver this inspirational message during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month to caregivers who call into Care Connection, a phone support group and coaching service that is a strategic alliance between AFA and Ask Dr. Jamie. Jamie Rotnofsky, Ph.D., a psychologist and professional life coach, facilitates the teleconference service, which links up to 150 caregivers from across the U.S. for an hour each week.
Later in the month, on November 24, Dr. Jamie continues the theme with a discussion on “Taking Action.” Her coaching session will assist caregivers in identifying areas in their lives that they need to “take action in” toward positive self-care, such as taking time for themselves and getting support.
Both teleconferences will be held at 9 pm Eastern time, and each will be repeated during the month. Caregivers can call in toll-free at 877-AFA-2992; the guest identification number is 271004.
The upcoming topics are timely, fitting in with November's designation as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.
Noted Dr. Jamie: “This is a time when we need to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease in general, but also about the overwhelming role of caregiving. Caregivers are very good at taking care of their loved ones. Often in doing so, they sacrifice their own health. They need to know that they don't have to do this alone.”
Hall said that caregivers who participate in Care Connection are on the right track. “They're taking advantage of an outlet that allows for socialization and peer support. Respite is not a luxury, but a necessity if caregivers want to protect their own physical and mental well-being,” he added.
According to Hall, caregivers should seek out support in their communities as well, such as speaking to social workers, attending educational conferences and support groups, and learning how to do appropriate recreational therapies with their loved ones at home.
In addition to Care Connection, AFA's toll-free hotline—866-AFA-8484—and its free caregiver magazine— care ADvantage —are other sources of support, especially for those who cannot leave family members alone to go to programs at community organizations.
For more information about Care Connection, visit www.alzfdn.org or www.askdrjamie.net. Corporate sponsors are Fascomm and Verizon.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the care needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families, and unites hundreds of member organizations nationwide that provide hands-on support services. 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
Alzheimer's Foundation of America 866.AFA.8484