Fort Lee To Debut Alzheimer’s Awareness And Support Week
FORT LEE – It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., afflicts 5.3 million Americans and more than 150,000 New Jersey residents and next month, will become the focus of a series of educational events aiming to shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease.
The borough’s first Alzheimer’s Awareness and Support Week — coordinated by the Home Helpers health agency and sponsored by the Fort Lee Chamber of Commerce, as well as senior care company CareOne Management — will offer five seminars and workshops with dementia experts and other professionals every day from Oct. 18 to 22 at various locations throughout town.
The program begins with a “Is it Dementia or Normal Aging?” presentation by Kelly Flister, executive director of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care, which will take place at the senior center and ends with a screening and discussion of “You are Here” — a drama about Alzheimer’s disease — at the library.
Other events include presentations on the legal and financial ramifications of the disease, care options for those suffering from it and the role of caregivers.
“The programs can make a huge difference in the lives of individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their families,” said event coordinator Vivian Green Korner, who brought similar awareness weeks to Cresskill, Ridgewood and Paramus over the last four years. “We really want these programs to help support caregivers so that they are better equipped in their responsibilities and to really wake up the community.”
Doug Feltman, president of Home Helpers in Fort Lee and the Fort Lee Chamber of Commerce, called Alzheimer’s an impending epidemic and said he asked Korner to organize a set of events for the caretakers of people with Alzheimer’s, usually their children, who are overwhelmed and struggling to cope with the disease.
“We’re hoping that they can better learn the tools they can use to deal with their parents so they can have a much easier life and a happier life,” he said.
Korner said Fort Lee’s large senior citizen community would especially benefit from discussions on the symptoms and stages of Alzheimer’s while the community at large would gain “an increased awareness of how families are affected by Alzheimer’s and what they can do as a community to make Fort Lee more dementia-friendly.”
As part of that awareness campaign, the Alzheimer’s Association will also provide dementia training to Fort Lee’s police, fire personnel and emergency medical technicians during October and November, said Korner.
For a complete schedule of events, visit fortleehomecare.com.