Weekly Dementia Community Calendar October 25, 2019

Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama Lunch and Learn, Tuesday, October 29,  Navigating Grief, Especially During the Holidays, with Matthew Bunt, M.Ed., LPC-S, Outreach Coordinator, at The Amelia Center, Brookdale University Park, Gazebo Room, 11:30 – 1 pm.  Presented by Medical Properties Trust.  Brookdale University Park.  Lunch is free but reservations are required, mpiggott@alzca.org.  See attached flyer.

Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama’s Walking to Remember, Saturday, November 2, inside the Riverchase Galleria, 8 am.  Join with family and friends to Shine a Light on Alzheimer’s  at this fun 3 mile indoor walk (or a distance that suits you).  Walk in honor of memory of your loved one.  Walkers raising a minimum of $50 receive a t-shirt.  https://alzca.org/walking/ for more info.

Kirkwood by the River Chile Cook Off benefiting Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, Friday, November 8, 11 – 1.  See attached flyer.  www.kirkwoodbytheriver.com or (205) 956-2184.

Statewide Day of Prayer and Remembrance, Sunday, November 10. 

Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian Church will host the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling Hummel for Sunday school and worship on Sunday, November 10, in honor of the Day of Prayer.  Perhaps we can best learn about Alzheimer’s from someone living with the diagnosis.  Click to read Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling Hummel’s essay,  “A Green Pentecost: On Pastoring with Alzheimer’s,” https://collegevilleinstitute.org/bearings/a-green-pentecost-on-pastoring-with-alzheimers/

Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama Annual Meeting and Candle Lighting Service, Thursday, November 14, Vestavia Hill Library, 6 – 7:30.  Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN, will explore lessons he learned through his care partnership with his late father, Lester that transformed his life and medical practice.  A Tuscaloosa neurologist and former ACA board member, Dr. Potts practices neurology at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center. Along with his wife, Ellen W. Potts, MBA, he authored A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver.  Join us to hear, “Souls Shine Forth: Sharing the Light Of Personhood Through Relationships In Dementia Care”.

Virtual Dementia Tour, November 15, 9 – 2.  Cooper Green Mercy Health Services, 1515 6th Avenue South.  Sponsored by the Jefferson County Community Services & Workforce Development Senior Services Division.  Call Dedra Lewis, 205-325-5567.

Pancake breakfast benefiting Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, Friday, November 15, St. Martin’s. 

Crimson Community Café, at UPerk in Tuscaloosa, Saturday, November 16, 10 – 11:30.  Bring your loved one with dementia for refreshment, music and fellowship.  Email crimsoncummunitycafe@gmail.org

Living Well with Dementia, workshop with Dr. Al Power who wrote Dementia Beyond Drugs and Dementia Beyond Disease, Tuesday, November 19, at Canterbury United Methodist Church, 9 – noon.  Contact Valerie Boyd at (205) 874-1523 or valerie.boyd@canternuryumc.org.  See attached flyer.

One Enchanted Day for Caregivers, a free event for unpaid family caregivers, Saturday, November 21, Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, 11:30 – 2.  www.westalabamaaging.org/oneenchantedday

 

News to know:

In a shocking reversal, pharmaceutical company Biogen announced it would resurrect an Alzheimer’s drug that the company previously said had failed and will ask the Food and Drug Administration to approve it.  An October 25, 2019 Time Magazine article pointed to Biogen’s recently-released full report on its experimental drug aducanumab for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, “After 18 months of taking aducanumab, participants in one of the studies showed anywhere from 15% to 27% less cognitive decline, as measured by standard tests of memory and cognitive ability, compared to those receiving a placebo. The cognitive protection was most pronounced in those getting the highest dose of the drug.”

An October 22, 2019 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s statement responsed to Biogen and Eisai’s announcement of their plans to seek FDA-approval for aducanumab.  “We congratulate Biogen and Eisai for this achievement and applaud their persistence in pursuing a pharmacological cure for Alzheimer’s despite earlier setbacks. We are encouraged that a new analysis of a larger dataset from the Phase III clinical studies that were discontinued in March 2019 shows that aducanumab may reduce brain amyloid and clinical decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. Research into drug therapies for Alzheimer’s has seen too many disappointments, and today’s announcement is a positive and much-needed sign of progress in the drive to stop this disease,” said UsA2 Co-Founder George Vradenburg.    This is a positive step for all who are waiting for better treatment, but the drug still faces FDA approval.  There have been no new drugs approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s in over 15 years.

Earlier this week at the UsA2 2019 National Alzheimer’s Summit in Washington,  George Vradenburg,  “called for a time-based, national prevention goal”, and saying “the optimal system of care that will ultimately yield the best results for the 5.8 million people living with Alzheimer’s, their 16 million caregivers, and their families, must include a coordinated, national effort with healthcare consumers, providers, and payers to ultimately drive the prevention, in addition to the treatment and cure, of this disease”.  Read more in  An October 25, 2019 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s news release

Many people worry about becoming forgetful as they age. They think it is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. But that’s not always the case. Read and share this infographic to learn more about what types of forgetfulness are a normal part of aging and when it may be time to see a doctor.  From the National Institute on Aging.

While forgetfulness and cognitive decline are the main defining symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, the conditions are also often riddled with behavioral issues and aggression, which can be burdensome for both patients and caregivers.  Certain drugs, like antipsychotics, can be used to treat these behavioral issues, or at least ease them a bit. But a new meta-analysis examining 163 studies and over 23,000 people with dementia finds that drugs may not be the most effective treatment path.  Instead, the authors pinpoint more holistic activities—like spending time outdoors, or getting messages—as being better at alleviating aggression and agitation among patients. While forgetfulness and cognitive decline are the main defining symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, the conditions are also often riddled with behavioral issues and aggression, which can be burdensome for both patients and caregivers. Certain drugs, like antipsychotics, can be used to treat these behavioral issues, or at least ease them a bit. But a new meta-analysis examining 163 studies and over 23,000 people with dementia finds that drugs may not be the most effective treatment path.  Instead, the authors pinpoint more holistic activities—like spending time outdoors, or getting messages—as being better at alleviating aggression and agitation among patients.  Discover more here

An October 16, 2019 Deseret News opinion piece by brothers Craig and Kyle Weston relied on their own personal experience, with their grandma Willie’s Alzheimer’s disease, to write about hope for the future. They point to promising new avenues of research, including infection-based causes (bacterial, microbial, viral), lifestyle and prevention, and predictive analytics.In light of these recent and exciting new developments, the future of those affected by Alzheimer’s holds considerable promise. A hope that one day when friends and family look into the eyes of an aging loved one, reflected back will be the vibrant gaze of a life lived,” they wrote.

Did you know? Planet Fundraiser is an app that lets you give back to non-profits, schools, and groups simply by taking a picture of receipts from merchants you already shop at.  You shop and participating merchants donate to the charity of your choice.  To date almost $1600 has been donated to ACA.