Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | January 7, 2009

National Group Names ‘Dementia Care Professional of the Year’
Ferndale, WA Educator Cited for Expertise, Dedication

NEW YORK , NY — Day in and day out for years, Madaleine Lippert of Ferndale, WA has devoted herself to educating and supporting individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and caregivers.

It’s so much a part of who she is that she was shocked recently to learn that Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA), a division of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, has named her Dementia Care Professional of the Year for 2008.

“I’m really astonished that I would be picked,” said Lippert, a registered nurse who retired about a decade ago. In addition to her professional experience, she was a long-distance caregiver to her mother and sister, both of whom had dementia.

Lippert is the second recipient of DCPA’s annual award, which recognizes an individual “who demonstrates professional excellence in care, compassionate performance that exceeds expectations and a dedicated commitment to those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.” The professional does not have to be a member of DCPA to be nominated.

“Madaleine Lippert exemplifies what it takes to be a top-notch dementia care professional,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO. “This type of compassion, expertise and a willingness to go above and beyond shines a bright light for individuals with dementia and their families.”

These days, Lippert is an educational consultant for the Alzheimer Society of Washington, based in Bellingham, WA, and runs four of its support groups—three for caregivers and one for individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She also educates care partners through a state-funded dementia pilot project and holds training classes.

“My concern has always been to help caregivers and early memory loss folks. We try to empower them to do what they can with the life they have—and not give up,” she said.

In nominating Lippert, officials at St. Joseph Hospital Adult Day Health, the Northwest Regional Council-Area Agency on Aging and the Alzheimer Society, where she served as a board member for 12 years, showered her with accolades.

“She certainly represents the best of the best,” said Josselyn Winslow, the society’s executive director, upon learning of Lippert’s selection.

Mary Lynn Palmer, RN, a dementia and community outreach specialist at St. Joseph Hospital Adult Day Health, noted that many dementia care professionals and families, including her own, “are indebted to Madaleine for the education, counsel and support she has provided and continues to provide.”

On a personal note, Palmer’s parents attended Lippert’s first early dementia support group at the Alzheimer’s Society in 2000. With Lippert’s guidance, Palmer’s mother began to understand her husband’s behavior. “It made all the difference in her caregiving,” she said.

Dementia Care Professionals of America, a division of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), is a membership organization for dementia care professionals that offers practical training, continuing education and qualification as AFA Dementia Care Providers and AFA Dementia Care Specialists. Its 3,500 members include social workers, nurses, home health aides, physicians and other healthcare professionals. For more information, visit www.careprofessionals.org or call 866-232-8484.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484