Alzheimer’s Association offers free virtual classes

DAVENPORT, Iowa–While the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions in this country and around the world, the novel coronavirus presents unique challenges for more than 5 million Americans, including 66,000 in Iowa, living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter will offer free virtual education programs and support groups in the coming weeks to help all Iowa caregivers and their families. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a number of education programs that can help those living with Alzheimer’s and their families understand what to expect so they can prepare to meet the changes ahead and live well for as long as possible.

“During this challenging time, it’s critical that all Iowa caregivers have access to Alzheimer’s Association resources even if they cannot venture out,” said Megan Pedersen, Program Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association in Southeast Iowa: “The COVID-19 crisis is altering Americans’ daily lives, but the needs of Alzheimer’s caregivers cannot be put on hold. These online programs allow us to connect with caregivers and provide necessary information even amid the current crisis.”

Each virtual education program lasts approximately one hour and allows the audience to ask questions and engage with others going through the journey online.  

 Upcoming virtual education programs across Iowa include:

  •  Understanding Dementia & Alzheimer’s: Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.—7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m.—11 a.m.-Effective Communication Strategies: Tuesday, April 21, 11 a.m.—12 p.m.
  • 10 Warning Signs: Wednesday, April 15 3 p.m.—4 p.m. For a complete list of upcoming programs, or to register for a program, visit alz.org/crf or contact Megan Pedersen at [email protected] or 563-293-8058.

In addition to the virtual education classes, the Alzheimer’s Association offers online community resources at alz.org including ALZConnected, a free online community where people living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, family, and friends can ask questions, get advice, and find support. More than 16 million family and friends, including 136,000 in Iowa, provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in the United States. To help family caregivers navigate the current complex and quickly changing environment, the Alzheimer’s Association has also offered additional guidance to families at alz.org/COVID19. The Alzheimer’s Association free, 24/7 helpline 800-272-3900 offers around-the-clock support for caregivers and families impacted by Alzheimer’s and all dementia.  

Additional Facts and Figures(alz.org/facts) :

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in Iowa and Illinois.
  • More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease, including 66,000 in Iowa and 230,000 in Illinois — a number estimated to grow to as many as 73,000 and 260,000 respectively by 2025.
  • More than 16 million family and friends, including 136,000 in Iowa and 587,000 in Illinois, provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in the United States.
  • In 2019, friends and family of those with Alzheimer’s in Iowa provided an estimated 155 million hours of unpaid care, a contribution valued at more than $2.036 billion. In Illinois, they provided 668 million hours of unpaid care valued at over $8.759 billion.