Letter to the Editor - Dec. 12

December 12, 2012

Alzheimer’s Association offers hope to families

To the editor:

While not always the first word that comes to mind with Alzheimer’s disease, “hopeful” describes encouraging information that continually develops from ongoing clinical trials and research, offering much-needed hope for families living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

There are 5.4 million people nationwide living with Alzheimer’s disease and 15 million caregivers. In Washington County, more than 3,000 residents are diagnosed, and a projected jump of 72 percent from 2000 to 2030 will most certainly create community demand for dementia education, a strain on family resources and hope for a better future.

This theme of hope shone brightly over Hagerstown on Nov. 28 at a special event hosted by Somerford in Hagerstown. In recognition of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregiver Month, Somerford held a community Light of Hope ceremony — a visible and tangible way attendees remembered loved ones while lighting the night for a future without Alzheimer’s disease. Lighted balloons were released beside a bright full moon, each labeled in memory or in honor of a family member, resident or friend. The balloons resembled twinkling stars and attendees were awed by the lights and stood together in the chilly night remembering, honoring and paying respect.

The Alzheimer’s Association is pleased to announce that beginning Dec. 20, and repeating the third Thursday of each month, professional staff will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for family consultation at the Commission on Aging at 140 W. Franklin St. Walk-ins are welcome, and appointments can be made by calling the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or 301-696-0315.

The Alzheimer’s Association thanks the Commission on Aging for its generous provision of meeting space and thanks all Washington County support group facilitators, volunteers and partners for providing hope and light to families that live with Alzheimer’s disease every day.

Cass Naugle, executive director
Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Maryland Chapter

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