The mission of the Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Even as strides are being made on the research front, millions currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease—and millions more are at risk. Today, close to 8,000 people in Monterey County suffer from the disease, and each of them has at least one family member or friend as their caregiver. Through a 24/7 helpline (800-272-3900), the Alzheimer’s Association is here for people with Alzheimer’s—plus their family members, friends and anyone interested in learning more. The Alzheimer’s Association offers presentations (to educate about the nature of the disease, strategies to cope with its challenges, how to reduce risks); care consultations (to help families prepare for the journey ahead); support groups (to provide a safe place to share and draw strength and comfort from others); and works with health care professionals (to promote the importance of early diagnosis).
When my husband Ray was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I wasn’t offered much guidance. Fortunately, I heard about a local Alzheimer’s Association conference. This event totally changed my perception of the disease. Before going, I felt like I had no power, minimal support and limited say in the care of my husband. At the conference, I learned that I was not alone in this fight—there was a whole organization dedicated to supporting families like mine. Ray died in October 2018. His journey is over, but my journey with the Alzheimer’s Association is just beginning. My hope is that through my work I can pay forward the support the Alzheimer’s Association gave Ray and me.
- Carole Cuffman