Alzheimer’s Association expands Denver metro services

While the coronavirus pandemic has forced many companies and organizations to curtail operations, the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado is busy ramping up service across the state with enhanced programs and services tailored for social distancing.

“The Alzheimer’s Association has a long history of working with families in the Denver metro area, as well as in communities around the state, and we are excited to be able to enhance those services even while working remotely to ensure everyone’s health and safety,” said Amelia Schafer, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado.

A number of existing programs will continue uninterrupted, while others are being added or enhanced. 

Educational programs

Since social distancing prevents large groups from gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering the full range of its educational classes online, accessible 24 hours a day to fit the schedules of busy caregivers. Those classes can be found on the internet at: training.alz.org (do not use the “www” prefix). Like all Alzheimer’s Association programs and services, these classes are offered at no charge.

If you prefer live interaction with the program leader and other participants, then you’ll want to check out the Alzheimer’s Association live webinars. In the Association’s Virtual Education Calendar, look for webinars of interest to you, such as “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s,” “Living with Alzheimer’s for Caregivers” and much more.

Caring for caregivers

There are more than 250,000 unpaid caregivers – family and friends – across Colorado caring for the 76,000 people living with Alzheimer’s. The Association has a number of programs tailored to them:

  • Support groups: The Association has dozens of support groups operating in the Denver metro area. Normally they meet in person, but during the COVID-19 situation, they are continuing to meet by telephone or webinar. 
  • Care consultations: Families that are looking for one-on-one support, direction and referral to community resources can work directly with Alzheimer’s Association trained professional staff. Typically, those meetings would be held in the Association’s offices but, under current circumstances, they are being conducted remotely. 
  • Helpline: The backbone of the Association’s services is the free Helpline (800-272-3900). Staffed 24/7 by trained professionals, the Helpline offers counsel and referral to local services in more than 200 languages and dialects.

To help guide community residents, volunteers and partners, the Colorado Chapter has formed a three-person outreach team to focus on specific communities:

  • Director of Diversity & Inclusion and team lead Rosalyn Reese oversees programs and volunteers in Arapahoe County. She can be reached at rreese@alz.org
  • Marlene Franco, Community Engagement manager, is the lead contact for Denver and Adams Counties. She can be reached at mafranco@alz.org
  • Jenny Lee, Community Engagement manager, is the lead contact for Douglas and Jefferson Counties. She can be reached at jelee@alz.org

“The focus of our team is to engage with community organizations as well as the volunteers who make it possible to serve all of the Colorado families living with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Reese. “We will be their point of contact with the Association.”

To learn more about Alzheimer’s Association programs and services throughout the Denver metro area, go to www.alz.org/co or call the Helpline at 800-272-3900.


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