SOURCE: Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

June 05, 2013 09:26 ET

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Offers Disaster Preparedness Teleconference for Caregivers of People With Dementia

'Care Connection' Guest Speaker Discusses Strategies to Better Weather the Season's Storms

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - June 05, 2013) -  With recent tragedies in Oklahoma emphasizing the potential wrath of Mother Nature and with the summer storm season about to begin, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) today announced that its "Care Connection" monthly educational teleconference for caregivers of people with dementia will focus on "Coping in the Face of Disasters" on June 13.

The featured speaker, Janelle Christensen, Ph.D., M.P.H., will discuss the importance of adapting disaster plans for the various stages of dementia, strategies to deal with scenarios such as a person's refusal to evacuate, tips for managing stress-induced behaviors, and what to pack in the all-important "go" kit.

Offered the second Thursday of each month from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (ET), Care Connection is designed for both family and professional caregivers, and presents different guest experts each teleconference. To join the conference, call (toll-free) 877-594-8353 and enter guest identification number 46692951#.

It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms that can include memory loss, confusion, lack of judgment and behavioral issues make people with the brain disorder more susceptible to the effects of natural disasters. Relocation to unfamiliar surroundings can result in mood changes, including depression and aggression, and wandering, for example.

Christensen, currently a program data analyst at Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth, Fla., has delved deeply into this subject. For her Ph.D. thesis, she worked with clients in their homes and at adult day programs in Florida, "listening to their stories about past storms, how they felt and what they needed," she said. "From this research, I was able to evaluate the challenges people face and identify best practices for mitigating emotional and physical trauma."

In 2011, as a former grants administrator at Alzheimer's Community Care, Palm Beach, Fla., Christensen wrote an application for a grant for disaster-preparedness kits for families caring for people with dementia that received funding from AFA.

About Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA)  The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers, and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit, follow us on Twitter (@alzfdn), and "like" us on Facebook ( 

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