December 2016

News from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Washington Update:
Century Cures Act Signed Into Law

Prior to adjourning, Congress passed, and President Obama has signed into law, the 21st Century Cures Act. The goals of this bipartisan legislation include: incorporating patient perspectives into the regulatory process and helping to address their unmet medical needs; building the foundation for 21st century medicine; streamlining clinical trials; supporting continued innovation at federal public health agencies; and modernizing medical product regulation. Specifically, for Alzheimer's disease stakeholders, the law:
  • increases funding for drug research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
  • establishes a NIH Innovation Fund with a focus on high-risk, high-reward research and including matching fund requirements for projects like the BRAIN initiative;
  • establishes public-private prize competitions (formerly known as the EUREKA Act) to accelerate breakthroughs for Alzheimer's disease and other dementia; and
  • sets forth additional FDA reforms intended to accelerate the pace of drug review and to bring effective therapies to market quicker. 
AFA and other stakeholders have been working with policymakers to spur innovation in dementia and brain research. In a letter supporting this legislation, AFA congratulated Congress for recognizing the regulatory challenges posed by drug development in the Alzheimer's space and addressing them in innovative and creative ways. 

AFA will continue to report on progress related to this law.
Talk Brain Health Conversation Kit Now Available in Spanish
2nd Talk Brain Health Webinar Added: December 21

The holidays are a time that many of us notice changes in our loved ones' health, behavior and memory, particularly if we live some distance away. To help families start a conversation about memory concerns, AFA teamed up with the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) to create the #TalkBrainHealth conversation kit. The kit, which is available here, is now also available in Spanish. It hi ghlights  signs it may be time to discuss brain and memory health with a loved one, how to broach the conversation, and what to do next.
In addition, AFA and NAC will host an encore presentation of the #TalkBrainHealth webinar--which brings the kit to life and provides an opportunity for questions and answers on the topic--on December 21, at 3 p.m. ET. The webinar will be in English.  Register here.
News to Use:

Caregiver Workshop:  Home for the Holidays?
On December 19, join Circle of Care Senior Director, Michelle Laguerre, and AFA member organization, Inspired Memory Care's co-founders, Kelly Gilligan & Nettie Harper, for a free, collaborative workshop focused on self care strategies and involving individuals with memory impairment in planning, preparing and celebrating a meaningful event with friends and family. In the spirit of the season, Inspired Memory Care will gift participants with two free take-home activities to try with a loved one. For more information or to register, click   here.

New Support Groups Begin in February 2017
AFA will debut two new support groups this February. The first is an ongoing group for spouses of individuals with young-onset Alzheimer's. It will take place on Wednesdays, from 4-5 p.m. ET, beginning February 1.
The second is designed to help professional caregivers care for themselves. This professional self-care support group is a four-week group that will take place Thursdays, from 4-5 p.m. ET, beginning February 2.
Each group will be facilitated by one of AFA's licensed social workers. For more information or to register, call 866-232-8484.

Member Spotlight

Silver Dawn Training Institute
Griffith, Ind.

Tami Neumann, C.D.P., C.D.C.S., and Cathy Braxton, C.D.C.S., C.I.E., recognized a gap in the dementia care landscape and sought to fill it. Their organization, Silver Dawn Training Institute, is helping families and professional caregivers better communicate with individuals who have cognitive impairment through an innovative program rooted in improve techniques.
Dementia Raw, Act I, is a four-hour intensive program that lays the foundation of empathy, and empowers caregivers to gain confidence and build their skill set.
"Through this program, we help people create quality connections," said Braxton. "A quality 10-minute visit with a loved one is more impactful than an hour-long staring contest. With Act I, we're creating a safe space for everyone to thrive-whether they are 9 or 109!"
The group hopes to roll out Act II in the series next year.  Click here to learn more or to attend an in-person workshop or online certification sessions. 

Have a Question?
AFA's national toll-free helpline is here for you! Staffed by licensed social workers, the helpline is open Monday through Friday, from 
9 a.m.-9 p.m. ET, and Saturdays, from 
9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET.

Call 866-232-8484.