All of us have a friend or relative with Alzheimer’s disease. Please help those at a location near you by donating now.
About Alzheimer’s Connections
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, as well as behavioral changes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, or loss of intellectual function, among people aged 65 and older. It is not a normal part of aging.
Alzheimer’s Connections is a 501C3 Charity organization made up of licensed professionals dedicated to providing the services, activities and interventions which serve as a catalyst to improving the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients by helping them build the brain connectivity for improved mental health. We also help them connect to other people and make mental challenges both enjoyable and successful.
Our vision is to improve the quality of life for all persons facing Dementia/Alzheimer’s by optimizing the care and services in various organizations and delivery systems.
Donations* help fund counseling by licensed Clinicians/Therapists, resources for engaging the patient in brain stimulating/building activities; educational conferences/materials on holistic approaches; professional education to families and caregivers; training and qualification; Individual donors as well as corporate donors and sponsors are needed to intervene in the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s. In short, we need YOU! If you know someone who is affected, please give to this cause. (If they are in an assisted living facility and you designate to us their location, we will do our best to target your funds in services DIRECTLY to that facility.)
New research shows that the brain can grow new neurons even late in life and continually form new connections with various other existing areas of the brain. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity. In fact, the brain if engaged in various stimulating and challenging activity can continue to build neurons so that the unused ones serve as a cognitive reserve when the brain shows signs of dementia due to the death of other brain cells.
Our organization assesses the patient’s level of literacy skills, their competencies, their interests and their hobbies. We individually design a treatment plan for each resident which addresses his or her strengths, compliments their behavioral patterns and maximizes their success.
Interventions we practice include:
- Maintaining strong social connections: Memory is strengthened with experiences tied to people. Socialization which involves the emotional centers (Limbic system) and thinking (Cerebral Cortex) together is effective at reinforcing storage and recall.
- Staying mentally active: Various challenging mental activities of interest strengthen the brain’s connections between various regions as well as increases the brain’s neuron production. The brain can actually build a reserve of cells which may prolong mental acuity! Memory is stored in various areas of the brain. The creation of new neurons and strengthening of their connections is therefore instrumental in both recall and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Physical Exercise: Regular physical exercise may be a beneficial strategy to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow in the brain Because of its known cardiovascular benefits, a medically approved exercise program is a valuable part of any overall wellness plan.
- Dietary lifestyle changes: limiting the intake of sugar and saturated fats and making sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grass fed beef and chicken which is free-range and hormone free.
- Heart to Head connection: Certain medical conditions which are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease — such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol — also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. As many as 80 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease were also shown to have cardiovascular disease in various autopsy studies. An emphasis is made on controlling these factors.
Medical science is puzzled as to why some people develop hallmark Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles but do not develop the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Further study of vascular disease may help researchers eventually find an answer. Some autopsy studies suggest that plaques and tangles may be present in the brain without causing symptoms of cognitive decline unless the brain also shows evidence of vascular disease. Perhaps the physical exercise or building a reserve of neurons through stimulating mental activity is a factor overlooked in a demographic group where this is the case. More research is needed to better understand the link between vascular health and Alzheimer’s.
*We all have a relative or know someone with Alzheimer’s disease. The extent of impact we make as an organization is a direct result of how well we are funded by individual donors and corporate partners. All donations are tax deductible.