A career pharmacy executive and lifelong advocate of continuing research into the causes and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Ellen Scharga supports the activities of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA). A nonprofit charitable organization designed to maintain a high standard of advocacy and care for individuals suffering from dementia, the AFA provides a number of valuable resources to support ongoing Alzheimer’s care and research initiatives. Here is a quick look at some of the programs sponsored by the AFA.
Toll-Free Hotline: For people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and their families, the AFA maintains a toll-free hotline to answer questions and direct callers to the appropriate resources. The hotline, staffed by a knowledgeable staff of licensed social workers and other professionals in tangential fields, operates from Monday to Friday during normal business hours.
Education: To increase people’s levels of knowledge regarding Alzheimer’s disease, the AFA website includes a wealth of information about the causes and treatments of the disease, behavioral issues, and caregiving strategies. The AFA also sponsors a series of workshops and conferences that discuss important medical breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s treatment and relevant financial and legal issues. Through its consumer publications such as brochures and Care Advantage magazine, the AFA provides useful information for caregivers.
Social Services: Through its social services program, the AFA connects people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers to certified social workers, who provide essential counseling and information. Social service programs at the AFA take on a number of different forms, including telephone buddy programs, early-stage and middle-stage programs, and family-oriented services. The AFA also presents its social services in languages other than English, a move designed to reach out to various ethnic populations.
Advocacy: To garner support for Alzheimer’s-related concerns, the AFA performs a number of advocacy functions in all levels of government. Through its Public Policy Office in Washington, D.C., the AFA advocates for legislation that would have a positive impact on people with dementia. The AFA also works closely with various government officials to raise awareness of dementia issues and eliminate the stigma that many Americans associate with Alzheimer’s disease.
To learn more about the services provided by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, visit the website at alzfdn.org.