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Local Resources Enable Family, Sufferers Assistance with Alzheimer’s

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) said today, in light of National Alzheimer’s Awareness month, he wished to draw attention to our local resources, saying the Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and its affiliates provide invaluable resources for those who suffer or care for a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a fatal brain disease that affects about 5.3 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association website. The incurable disease destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is the seventh leading cause of death.

“Accepting that you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s is not easy,” said Barclay. “Without the proper resources, treatment and education, the disease can further isolate sufferers and family members as they become frustrated trying to handle everything on their own,” added Barclay.

Assemblyman Barclay urged those who are affected by Alzheimer’s or have a family history of the disease to visit The Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association web site. The chapter has created a centralized site for its outreach and affiliated support groups, which can be found at www.alz.org/centralnewyork.

The site identifies the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s, which can help in an early diagnosis of the disease and, if treated with medication, can slow the progression and assist in a better quality of life for patients. Some signs include behavior changes, reluctance to socialize in usual manner and trouble keeping a budget. The site also distinguishes these behaviors from dementia.

The local chapter provides an overview workshop on the disease, as well as family caregiver training, late-stage training, maintaining your brain, aging well and managing challenging behaviors. It also links visitors with details on MedicAlert, a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with dementia who wander or have a medical emergency. A 24-hour hotline provides callers with information and referral services, 1 (800) 272-3900), as well.

Many organizations operate local support groups as well. Support groups within the 124th Assembly District are held at the following locations. Several more are listed on the website at http://www.alz.org/centralnewyork/alzheimers_disease_support.asp. :

* Baldwinsville Emotional Support Team, B’ville Methodist Church, 17 West Genesee St., 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Cindy Cherry, (315) 698-2126.
* The Atheaeum, 150 East Genesee St., Skaneateles, 1st Wednesday, 3 p.m. Mary Kimberly, (315) 685-5170.
* St. Camillus Health and Rehabilitation Center, 813 Fay Road, 3rd Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. Ellen Somers, (315) 488-2951 x406.
* The Manor at Seneca Hill, 20 Manor Dr., 4th Wednesday, 7 p.m., Dianne Morrisette, (315) 349-5341.