The Alzheimer’s Association recently held community forums on dementia and memory loss in Corning and Rochester to bring community members together with representatives from local governments, law enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Caregivers called for more awareness on how to recognize the signs of dementia and where families can find help for their loved ones at various stages of the disease. Participants emphasized the importance of educating first responders and medical professionals on the resources available to families through the Alzheimer’s Association and other local agencies. Family caregivers indicated the need to foster a better understanding and acceptance of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Irondequoit Town Supervisor David Seeley participated in the Rochester forum and expressed his willingness to expand educational opportunities for all residents in his town.
“I learned so much about the impact Alzheimer’s and other dementias have on families,” he said. “I know it is tough to reach the individuals who care for aging parents or grandparents while also caring for children under age 18, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. I am open to joining forces with the Alzheimer’s Association, and educating more families on the benefits of early diagnosis for their loved ones and the resources available in our community.”
Penfield Supervisor Tony LaFountain, who also attended the forum in Rochester, echoed his Irondequoit counterpart.
“Our communities need to be informed about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in our country,” he said. “As we realize how rapidly the number of Americans living with the disease is expected to increase 20 years from now, we need to make this a common household conversation today.”
The Alzheimer’s Association holds community forums to identify needs of families and establish a network of new supporters who can help leverage volunteer resources in every community. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
The Alzheimer’s Association Rochester and Finger Lakes Region serves a nine-county region, including Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties. Call (800) 272-3900 or visit alz.org/rochesterny for information.