After two days of inspiration and education, advocates headed to Capitol Hill to meet with their respective legislators and ask for their continued support in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Here’s how the meetings went for a few of the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter advocates:
Over 900 Alzheimer’s advocates have gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 25th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum. We have asked attendees from the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter to share their insights from the sessions they have attended. Here is what they had to say on Day 1:
On April 22, volunteers from around the country will convene in Washington, D.C. for the 25th Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum — the nation’s largest Alzheimer’s policy event. Since 1989, dedicated Alzheimer’s advocates have met annually to share their personal experiences, learn about legislative initiatives, celebrate policy efforts and urge elected officials to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority. This year a record number of advocates are slated to attend. As the Association’s new volunteer ambassador to the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein, I will attend the Forum for the first time.
Expectations are high that the 25th Forum will make a meaningful difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s, and there’s good reason for optimism. Recent advocacy efforts have produced important results, chief among them the passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act and the release of the first-ever National Alzheimer’s Plan. The fight against Alzheimer’s was in the national spotlight earlier this year, when President Obama mentioned Alzheimer’s disease in his State of the Union address, underscoring the critical need for medical research to address Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Continue reading “25 Years of Making our Voice Heard: Let 2013 be the Year of Real Change” »
What do we mean by delirium?
Also called the acute confusional state, delirium is a medical condition that results in confusion and other disruptions in thinking and behavior, including changes in perception, attention, mood and activity level. Individuals living with dementia are highly susceptible to delirium. Unfortunately, it can easily go unrecognized even by healthcare professionals because many symptoms are shared by delirium and dementia. Sudden changes in behavior, such as increased agitation or confusion in the late evening, may be labeled as “sundowning” and dismissed as the unfortunate natural progression of one’s dementia.
When is a change in behavior delirium and not part of dementia?
In dementia, changes in memory and intellect are slowly evident over months or years. Delirium is a more abrupt confusion, emerging over days or weeks, and represents a sudden change from the person’s previous course of dementia. Unlike the subtle decline of Alzheimer’s disease, the confusion of delirium fluctuates over the day, at times dramatically. Thinking becomes more disorganized, and maintaining a coherent conversation may not be possible. Alertness may vary from a “hyperalert” or easily startled state to drowsiness and lethargy. The hallmark separating delirium from underlying dementia is inattention. The individual simply cannot focus on one idea or task. Continue reading “Delirium or Dementia – Do you know the difference?” »
The normally drab halls of the California State Capitol were sparkling with color on March 6 as 160 Californians, clad in bright purple sashes, descended on Sacramento for Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day 2013.
As family members and individuals affected with Alzheimer’s disease, the volunteer advocates met with elected representatives and key staffers to share the impact the disease has had on them, and advocate for policies to help the many Californians confronted with the disease.
Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day, an annual event in California, is an opportunity to connect with legislators on a personal level, and to educate them about the realities of Alzheimer’s and what the legislature can do to improve life for the nearly 600,000 Californians who have the disease. Continue reading “Volunteers Push for Legislative Change at California Advocacy Day 2013” »