Alzheimer’s Association Expands Free Virtual Support Programs
Source: Alzheimer’s Association
Since shifting to remote work in March, The Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter began offering free virtual support groups and education programs to help all local caregivers and their families in the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The chapter has recently expanded their service offerings with new education classes taught in Spanish, including Healthy Living for your Brain and Body: Tips from the Latest Research, and 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s (also offered in Korean).
The Alzheimer’s Association’s support and education programs are a way to serve the community, providing caregivers and others affected by the disease the opportunity to exchange information and develop methods and skills to solve problems. In response to the stay-at-home orders in place, these services that previously met in-person have recently transitioned to virtual platforms via confidential conference call lines and online webinar platforms set up by their group facilitators.
According to Donna Beal, Vice President of Programs and Services, the California Central Coast Chapter usually conducts around 52 in-person support groups and 7 education classes each month with the help of volunteers and community leaders.
“Our team has been working hard to do what we can in order to continue providing support to our constituents during this difficult and unprecedented time,” Beal said. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, it is critical that those in need have access to Alzheimer’s Association resources even if they cannot venture outside. The needs of Alzheimer’s caregivers cannot be put on hold, and these online programs allow us to connect with them and provide necessary information amid the current crisis.”
Other upcoming virtual programs include:
● Early Stages Class: Part 3
● Legal & Financial Issues Class
● Early Stage Care Partner Support Group
● Early Stage Person Living With Disease Support Group
● Family Caregiver Support Group
● Spouse Support Group
For an updated list and schedule of upcoming programs, or to register for a program, visit alz.org/cacentralcoast_helpingyou.
In addition to the virtual education classes, the Alzheimer’s Association offers online community resources at alz.org including ALZConnected®, a free online community where people living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, family and friends can ask questions, get advice and find support.
More than 16 million family and friends, including 1,624,000 in California, provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer's or other dementias in the United States. To help family caregivers navigate the current complex and quickly changing environment, the Alzheimer’s Association has also offered additional guidance to families at alz.org/COVID19.
The Alzheimer’s Association free, 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) offers around-the-clock support for caregivers and families impacted by Alzheimer’s and all dementia.