BOISE — COVID-19 has prompted many organizations and businesses to adapt to serve their clients. The Alzheimer's Association closed their offices nationwide on March 13th to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Despite the closures, the association still has the national 24/7 help line phone number. Locally, the Idaho chapter of the organization has shifted to online for those in need.
The chapter has instated Webinars and support groups to reach out to those affected by Alzheimer's or Dementia. With nearly 27,000 people affected by this sickness in Idaho the need for assistance and help is high in demand.
Volunteer Stacy Gunnerson had this to say about the initiative to reach people online "At the Alzheimer's Association we work with a lot of people that are caregivers for loved ones at home. And they really just need somebody to talk to, that need is there every single day and now that we have the opportunity to work with them virtually on our support groups we're really excited to be for them."
The Webinars and Support groups are being offered 15 times for the next couple of months covering four categories Understanding Alzheimer's and Dementia, 10 Warning signs of Alzheimer's, Effective Communication Strategies and Healthy Living for your Brain.
Using the video conferencing website bluejeans.com, it allows users a quick and easy way to gain access to the meetings. By simply pressing the "Join Meeting" button participants should be able to access the conference without issues.
One issue that prompted questions from caregivers for those suffering from Alzheimer's or Dementia was how to keep them informed about the coronavirus.
Executive Director, Adrean Cavener assured that the association is taking proper precautions to help caregivers know the correct ways to assist in helping someone suffering from Alzheimer's or Dementia understand the coronavirus.
"If they're a caregiver with somebody with dementia and how they can help is go to alz.org/covid19. There are so many resources there on tips, tricks, fundamental things that they can do to help their loved one with dementia."
While COVID-19 is having affects on everyone, the Idaho chapter of the association is focusing on the positives that could come out of this pandemic. Due to the online platforms, it could become possible to reach other areas of Idaho that don't have the proper resources or manpower in helping those suffering from Alzheimer's or Dementia.