NEW YORK, NY—Several leading groups involved in Alzheimer’s disease or related issues are pioneering a new way of communicating with caregivers of individuals affected by the brain disorder through the development of #TalkAlz, a monthly discussion in the Twittersphere on the second Tuesday of every month at 12 p.m. (ET).
Each hour-long Twitter chat—a prearranged chat that takes place on Twitter using a set hashtag to connect tweets together in a virtual conversation—will feature a new discussion topic designed to provide information and advice for people with the disease, their caregivers and family members. Family and professional caregivers are encouraged to weigh in and share their own experiences related to the disease.
In addition, #TalkAlz encourages other Alzheimer’s disease organizations, caregiving groups, healthcare providers, policymakers, researchers and others who have something constructive to add to the Alzheimer’s dialogue to join in.
The next Twitter chat will take place Tuesday, October 11 at 12 p.m. (ET). Follow the hashtag #TalkAlz to take part.
The regularly-scheduled discussion was conceived of by USAgainstAlzheimer’s, and is co-sponsored by AARP, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, the American Health Assistance Foundation, The Fox Group, LLC, the Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc., and Seniors for Living.
“Over 5 million Americans are suffering privately with Alzheimer’s so there is an already enormous and growing need for this community forum to bring the disease out of the shadows,” said George Vradenburg, Co-Founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, a national advocacy campaign and independent advocacy network committed to stopping Alzheimer's by 2020. “Nearly one of every three American families has been affected by Alzheimer’s and although this forum will not cure this cruel disease, it will make it less lonely and mysterious for the families, caregivers, and individuals with Alzheimer’s who participate in our monthly online discussions.”
The first chat, held in early September, drew more than 50 participants from across the Alzheimer’s disease spectrum, and featured lively conversation, peer and professional support and caregiving tips.
Indicative of the emotional candor—and lessons—that this type of dialogue can bring about, for example, one participant tweeted: “No matter our disease or disability, we retain our basic need to give and receive love.”
Future discussion topics will include: updates in Alzheimer's disease research, care options for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, and care challenges for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their loved ones.
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. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.
USAgainstAlzheimer’s is a national advocacy campaign and independent advocacy network committed to stopping Alzheimer’s by 2020. Visit www.USAgainstAlzheimers.org to learn more about what USA2 is doing to influence policies that will lead to a cure.