Every November since President Ronald Reagan’s letter to the country revealing his own dementia diagnosis in 1983, Americans celebrate November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. November is an opportunity for people to honor the progress made toward understanding and treating the disease while raising money for research and care. It also recognizes caregivers, family, clinicians, and the more than 6 million patients living with Alzheimer’s. Here are ways to celebrate with Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama:
Walking to Remember: ACA’s Annual Walk, Saturday, November 6, 10 am, 300 Office Park Drive. Hot dogs, Steel City Pops, fun and entertainment. Walkers raising a minimum of $50 receive a Walk t-shirt. All the Money raised stays in Alabama to support Alabama families! https://alzca.org/walking/
Annual Day of Prayer, Sunday November 14. The Prayer is attached. Please consider making this prayer a part of your worship activities the weekend of November 14.
ACA’s Annual Meeting and Candlelight Service, Thursday, November 18, 9 am, Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest, 1221 Montgomery Highway. Join ACA’s Board of Directors for our annual meeting followed by the Candle Lighting Service that offers a moment of contemplation for all who are living with Alzheimer’s.
Celebrate November and National Family Caregivers Month spearheaded by Caregiver Action Network (CAN), which recognizes the important roles and contributions of family caregivers.
Alabama Respite Webinars, register at alabamarespite.org:
Maintaining Your Identity as a Family Caregiver, Oct. 30,10 am
Join 3 seminars to on “Ministry with the Forgotten: Dementia through a Spiritual Lens,” with Bishop Carder and Rev. Dr. Scott Hughes of UMC Discipleship Ministries. Read Bishop Carder’s book join in for live webinars (from 12 noon to 1 pm Eastern on November 4, Dec. 2 and Jan. 13) to answer participants’ questions and offer reflections. Learn more here: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/articles/new-online-teaching-series-the-churchs-ministry-with-dementia?fbclid=IwAR0g_s_cUIPS_C287yPAoZfgEbIGuLa83BF6ohflZxButiGzDCyfdjDdT8k
Lunch & Learn, Monday, November 8, Founders Place and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 10:30 – noon, 3736 Montrose Road, Birmingham. Dementia advocates and authors Don Wendorf and Lynda Everman will present their view of advocacy as being the voice for both persons living y with dementia and caregivers using humor and heart, memories and music. Lunch is provided, reservations are required. Contact Rhett Thagard firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.902.5700 by 9:00am by 11/5/21.
Join award-winning journalists Maria Shriver & Natalie Morales for the WAM Summit on the Power of Research, November 18, 1-2 CT. The Power of Research: The WAM Summit on Why Inclusivity Matters – THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT (thewomensalzheimersmovement.org).
In-person and zoom Support Groups:
CJFS CARES, Mondays at 3 pm, contact Pam Leonard, email@example.com.
Founders Place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Tuesday’s at 10 am, contact Susan Logan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pell City, (in person)-1st Tuesday of each month, 11:00 am, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, Parish Hall, Cropwell. Contact Bit Thomaston, Ethomaston50@gmail.com
West Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Caregiver Support Group, Tuesdays, contact Nikki Poe, email@example.com.
The Oaks on Parkwood, 4th Tuesday’s, 10:00 am, Contact: Karen Glover, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CJFS CARES, Tuesdays, 7:00 pm, contact Pam Leonard, email@example.com.
Leeds, (in person) 2nd Thursday of each month, 6:30 pm, St. Teresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, contact Bit Thomaston,firstname.lastname@example.org
United Way Area Agency on Aging of Jefferson County, 3rd Tuesday of each month 11:30-12:30, contact Valarie Lawson, email@example.com
Asbury United Methodist Church 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 1:00, contact Maggie Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A number of faster tests to diagnosis Alzheimer’s are in the pipeline. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK has put its stock in one of these new tests: the AI-based integrative cognitive assessment (ICA), an app designed to detect signs of cognitive impairment by yet another new means — pictures of animals. The ICA is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but the approach is so promising, it has secured European regulatory approval as a medical device, and the NHS has already deployed it in both primary and specialist clinical care in the UK. Designed by diagnostics company Cognetivity, the testing app relies on the brain’s ability to process information visually. In a period of five minutes, 100 images of natural landscapes flash onto the screen — 50 with animals in them, and 50 without. The test subject simply needs to tap the screen to classify the image as an animal or non-animal image.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) recently released its 2021 World Alzheimer’s Report—Journey through the Diagnosis of Dementia. ADI estimates that globally 75 percent of people living with dementia remain undiagnosed. This figure may be as high as 90 percent in some countries where stigma and lack of awareness remain barriers to diagnosis. With more than 55 million people living with dementia worldwide, the report posits that new treatment breakthroughs could result in a large wave of demand for diagnosis, thereby potentially overwhelming health care systems.
The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Act Family Caregiving Advisory Council recently delivered its initial report to Congress. The report includes a comprehensive review of the current state of family caregiving and provides 26 recommendations for how the federal government, states, tribes, territories and communities can better meet the needs of family caregivers.
Sleeping too much or too little can lead to cognitive decline over time, but new research suggests there could be a sleep time “sweet spot” that stabilizes cognitive function. In a longitudinal study, investigators found older adults who slept less than 4.5 hours or more than 6.5 hours a night reported significant cognitive decline over time, but cognitive scores for those with sleep duration in between that range remained stable. Sleep Time ‘Sweet Spot’ to Slow Cognitive Decline Identified? (medscape.com)
A newly proposed study seeks to explore whether delivering light to people with Alzheimer’s disease may help them to sleep better and to ease depression and insomnia, as well as improve thinking and memory skills. The study, recently funded by the National Institutes of Health, will look at two forms of light therapy. One delivers pulses of light to the brain to stimulate electrical brain waves involved in cognition. The other exposes patients to simulated daytime light, which has been shown to foster sound sleep. Could Light Therapy Help People with Alzheimer’s Disease? | Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (alzinfo.org)
Certain antihypertensive medications, particularly diuretics, are linked to lower Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology (ADNP) and other brain disease processes, new research shows. Investigators found that use of any antihypertensive was associated with an 18% decrease in ADNP, a 22% decrease in Lewy bodies (LBs), and a 40% decrease in TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a protein relevant to several neurodegenerative diseases. Diuretics in particular appear to be driving the association. Antihypertensives Tied to Lower Alzheimer’s Pathology (medscape.com)
The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona has recently launched a dementia-friendly initiative aimed at assisting travelers who are living with dementia. The initiative involves training and the Compassion Cacti Lanyard Program, which provides travelers with a neon green lanyard they can use to identify themselves as someone living with dementia, making it easier for staff to recognize them and offer assistance.
Last Spring, AFTD worked with the FTD Disorders Registry to distribute an FTD Insights Survey, in which they asked the FTD community to provide important and urgently needed information on the lived experience of FTD. More than 1,750 people completed our FTD Insights Survey and the results have been released: Frontotemporal Degeneration: A Voice of the Patient Report