October 13, 2021 – With more than 580,000 residents currently battling Alzheimer’s disease, Florida is at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis. On Wednesday, Oct. 27, join the Florida chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association and the AARP of Florida for an educational program to learn more about the role the greater community plays in improving dementia care. 

Bernice Pelea, program manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, said: “Given the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those with dementia, the half a million Floridians living with Alzheimer’s disease need our help now more than ever. But with the help and collaboration of our local community members, we can align our culture, science, services and practices to improve care.”

The virtual program, to be hosted via Zoom, will feature guest speaker Dr. Jason Karlawish, professor of neurology and of medicine, medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as Marcela Kitaigorodsky, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“If the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown has taught us anything in the world of Alzheimer’s, it’s the value of caregivers,” said Karlawish, who is also the co-director of the Penn Memory Center. “Caregivers, we have discovered, are an essential cognitive prosthetic, a kind of wheelchair for the mind, and a morally powerful one at that.”

“We need a new approach, not just to Alzheimer’s disease but to all causes of dementia,” Karlawish added. “Long-term, this means effective drug treatments, but there are things we can do right now, starting with a revolution in services and supports for patients and their caregivers.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and more than 11 million family caregivers to those with the disease. Florida has the second-highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the country.

“DiscoverALZ: Can Communities Improve Care for Persons Living with Alzheimer’s Disease?” will take place at 3 p.m. EDT, Oct. 27. Register online or contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at (800) 272-3900.

Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Visit alz.org or call (800) 272-3900.