This year marks Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama 25th year of providing education, services, advocacy and research for caregivers and patients living in the 21 counties across the central Alabama.
ACA is a local organization helping local families who cannot afford the most basic necessities, like continence supplies and respite care. The heart of what the organization does is to help families keep their loved one at home.
“Through ACA’s programs and services we seek to help diminish the devastating affects a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia can cause for an entire family,” said Miller Piggott, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama. “ACA’s services give relief to specific challenges families face as their loved one progresses from needing supervision to custodial care to nursing care. Regardless of a family’s social or economic status, the first line of defense when faced with a diagnosis of dementia is education.”
ACA provides the following educational programs, free of charge, for the community:
- The largest resource center and lending library related to dementia in the state.
- Newsletter is distributed twice a year to over 7,000 families and professionals.
- Website, www.alzca.org, which receives over 7,000 visitors each month.
- Training for the lay and professional community.
- Telephone counseling allow us to provide individualized information for families and professionals.
- Support group counseling was provided.
- Art in Action celebrates a patient’s ability to create artwork through therapeutic programming in adult day care centers and assisted living facilities. ACA publishes a calendar of Alzheimer’s art annually.
- Each year ACA offers research grants to encourage graduate students and young professionals to pursue careers in Alzheimer’s research. Since 2001, ACA has funded 23 research projects at The University of Alabama, Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
ACA’s service programs were developed with to serve families with a desire to care for their loved one at home. With the exception of Project Lifesaver, each of these programs serves caregivers based on greatest need. With ACA’s limited resources, the group seeks to serve the neediest caregivers in the community.
Each program has an application process and families are assessed according to economic, social and physical needs. Programs include:
- Adult Day Care Scholarships, allowing a patient to attend the center of their family’s choice for up to two days each week. Sixty-five Alzheimer’s patients attend adult day care on ACA scholarships of $250 per month.
- Continence Product Scholarships, delivering a case of products, gloves and wipes to the home of 100 patients each month.
- Project Lifesaver provides bracelets that emit a radio tracking signal to help locate a patient who has wandered. ACA partners with the State Troopers Association and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department to provide more oversight and to help ensure caregivers are participating and maintaining the equipment necessary to keep their loved one safe.
- iPod Ministry has provided 100 iPod of personalized music for dementia patients. Musical memory is profoundly linked to emotion. Research has shown that personalized music playlists, heard on iPods have the capacity to transform quality of life for patients struggling with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Have questions. Need help?
Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama (205) 871-7970 or (866) 806-7255 www.alzca.org
Alabama Department of Senior Services 1-800-ageline
Jefferson County Department of Senior Citizens Services (205) 871-7970
Positive Maturity (205) 803-5039