Weekly ACA’s Weekly Email May 21, 2021

Viewing of SPARK: Robin Williams and his battle with Lewy Body Dementia, Friday, May 21st 11:00 am CT

Viewing of SPARK: Robin Williams and his battle with Lewy Body Dementia Tickets, Fri, May 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

Webinar: The Apartment – A Guide to Creating a Dementia-Friendly Home, Friday, May 21, noon CT.  Almost every part of a home can impact quality of life for someone living with a dementia-related illness—even seemingly cosmetic choices like paint colors, patterns and dishware! Alzheimer’s Foundation of America | Webinar: The Apartment-A Guide to Creating a Dementia-Friendly Home (alzfdn.org)

FaithUnitedAgainstAlzheimer’s is hosting Dinner & Dialogue for Dementia Friendy African American Congregations, May 25, 5 pm CT.

Webinar Registration – Zoom

Maria Shriver and Seth & Lauren Miller Rogen have teamed up to bring you an event you won’t want to miss— Brain It On: 2021, June 24, 10 CT.  Join them as they hear from leading Alzheimer’s prevention experts and celebrity advocates during this free 90-minute virtual summit about the best ways to live a brain healthy life.  Brain It On: 2021 | THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT (thewomensalzheimersmovement.org)

Zoom Support Groups available online:

·       ACA’s Coffee Talk with Miller & Vance, Tuesday, May 25, 11 – noon CT.  Call (205) 871-7970 or mpiggott@alzca.org.  Join us on zoom:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86450491838

·       CJFS CARES,  Mondays at 1:30 pm, contact Pam Leonard, pam@cjfsbham.org.

·        Founders Place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Tuesday’s at 10 am, contact Susan Logan, susanlogan65@gmail.com

·        Pell City, 1st Tuesday of each month, 2:00 pm, contact Bit Thomaston, Ethomaston50@gmail.com

·    West Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Caregiver Support Group, Tuesdays, contact Nikki Poe, nikki.poe@westal.org.

·         Leeds, 2nd Thursday of each month, 6:30 pm, contact Bit Thomaston, ethomaston50@gmail.com

·         United Way Area Agency on Aging of Jefferson County, 3rd Tuesday of each month 11:30-12:30, contact Valarie Lawson,vlawson@uwaaa.org

·         Asbury United Methodist Church 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 1:00, contact Maggie Dunaway at mdunaway@asburyonline.org.

·     CJFS CARES,  Thursdays, 7:30 pm, contact Pam Leonard, pam@cjfsbham.org.

Alzheimer’s News:

Being Patient’s Deborah Kan recently interviewed Tuscaloosa neurologist Daniel Potts.  Dr.  Potts lost his father to Alzheimer’s.  When Daniel’s dad Lester was at a moderate stage of dementia, he started to attend Caring Days adult day care center in Tuscaloosa where he was encouraged to participate in art classes. The family snickered at that idea. Lester spent his life working in a sawmill and painting was not an activity any of them could imagine he would participate in.  To all of their amazement, through the paintbrush on canvas, Lester unleashed the artist he had never previously discovered. As he began to lose his ability to communicate, his paintings served as a secret decoder in spite of the disease that was taking away his memory. In a recent LiveTalk with Being Patient, Daniel explains that through abstract images, Lester was keeping memories of early childhood alive.  Some of Lester’s paintings and Daniel’s poems can be found on this website. There is indeed something empowering to think about what Alzheimer’s doesn’t have the ability to take away.

Dr. Rebecca Elon has dedicated her professional life to helping older adults.  Were it not for the challenges she’s faced during the coronavirus pandemic, Elon might not have learned firsthand how exhausting end-of-life care can be, physically and emotionally — something she understood only abstractly previously as a geriatrician.  And she might not have been struck by what she called the deepest lesson of this pandemic: that caregiving is a manifestation of love and that love means being present with someone even when suffering seems overwhelming. All these experiences have been “a gift, in a way: They’ve truly changed me.” Geriatrician Learns the Emotional and Physical Toll of Caregiving (medscape.com)

An expert explores the difference between normal memory loss and more severe cognitive health conditions like early Alzheimer’s or dementia.  It is important to know that dementia cannot be diagnosed from afar or by someone who is not a doctor. A person needs a detailed doctor’s exam for a diagnosis. Sometimes, brain imaging is required. And, forgetting an occasional word — or even where you put your keys — does not mean a person has dementia. There are different types of memory loss and they can have different causes, such as other medical conditions, falls or even medication, including herbals, supplements and anything over-the-counter.  Learn more >>

Living for years in areas high in smog and other air pollutants may contribute to memory loss and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a growing body of evidence shows. A new study found that even over the course of a few weeks, breathing in air pollutants may lead to declines in memory and thinking skills. But taking aspirin and similar nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help to counter the cognitive deficits caused by air pollution, the study found.  Polluted Air Tied to Memory Problems, Even in the Short Term | Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (alzinfo.org)

Local advocate, Lynda Everman, provides an update about the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp.  To date, over $1.1M has been raised for life saving dementia research funded by the National Institutes of Health:

https://about.usps.com/what/corporate-social-responsibility/activities/semipostals.htm.  Lynda recently joined Brian LeBlanc on WeAre#DementiaStrong for a 30 minute “Facebook Live” discussion about advocating for our loved ones with dementia. Brian has both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Check it out here:  https://youtu.be/D3rGCnPe1-I.  The easiest way to acquire the Alzheimer’s semipostal is to purchase it online at The Postal Store:


Early in the pandemic, Congress and the federal government allowed telehealth appointments — seeing health care providers virtually — to be covered by Medicare. Right now, Congress is deciding whether to pass legislation that would keep covering telehealth. If they don’t, covered access to telehealth could disappear.  You can email your lawmakers today and let them know why access to virtual visits with health care providers is important to you and your family. With just a few clicks, ask Congress to support and pass H.R.2903/S.1512, the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021.

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia represent a relatively new category of disease inequity for Indigenous populations. As life expectancy has improved for Indigenous peoples, so, too, has the risk of developing dementia. Available data suggests that rates of dementia began increasing around 2006, and that the incidence in the American Indian/Alaska Native populations is 14.6 percent higher than in the White populationTackling Dementia in Indigenous Populations (asaging.org)

A new study shows that horticultural therapy, the practice of interacting with plants for a happier state of mind, can reduce apathy and improve cognitive functioning in people with dementia.
Learn more >>

3 Research Opportunities

Researchers at the University of Alabama are developing a technology that will help families living with dementia learn more about local services in their community and help connect them to the services they need. They hope to learn more about your experiences as a caregiver in finding support and learning about dementia care. They also want to learn your perspectives on how a new web/smartphone technology could better support caregivers in Alabama. To be eligible to participate, you must (1) live in Alabama, and (2) be an unpaid caregiver (family or friend) of someone living with dementia in the community. Interviews can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you and will take about 45-60 minutes and can be done over the phone or on zoom.  Participants will receive a $35 gift card for their time. Contact: Dr. Nicole Ruggiano:  (205) 348-4654 or  nruggiano@ua.edu.

Dr. Carolyn Pickering’s research team in the UAB School of Nursing is conducting caregiver research to learn about how behavioral symptoms of dementia change day-to-day.

·         Recruiting people who provide help or assistance to a person with dementia.

·         Must own an iphone.

·         Family caregivers will be asked to report on symptoms they see throughout the day in brief surveys sent to an app on their iPhone.

·         All study activities are done from home and participants will be compensated for their time.

·         See attached are flyer, visit: https://www.caregivingresearch.org/dailybehaviors or contact Wes Dismuke at wdismuke@uab.edu.

UsAgainstAlzheimers is studying agitation:

·         The study involves a 1-hour phone interview for current caregivers of individuals with confirmed Alzheimer’s who experience agitation (such as emotional distress, moving around excessively, or verbal or physical aggression).

·         Criteria includes: Caregivers must be with the person they care for at least 2 hours a day/4 days a week. The person cared for must not live alone (although long term care is okay).

·         $100 Amazon gift cards will be given as thanks to people who complete the interview.

·         The information collected is anonymous and confidential.

·         Contact Ginny Biggar at vbiggar@usagainstalzheimers.org.

Learn about other studies by clicking: search for clinical trials and studies