Director's Cut
Dear Friends,
Alzheimer's Disease and other related dementias continue to ravage the lives of so many people and their loved ones. Caregivers provide countless hours to provide a caring and safe environment for people with dementia. There is no cure, but we continue to look for ways to improve this population's lives and support those providing their care.

This month we feature Cinnamon St. John, Associate Director of HIGN, who reflects on having been a caregiver to her mother with dementia and the isolation her mother and family faced. We must continue to talk about dementia, to reduce stigma and isolation, and foster support for those living with dementia and their caregivers. 
Be safe and well as we begin the autumn season.

Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN
Making Alzheimer’s Personal: It’s Time to Talk

Cinnamon St. John, MPA, MA
Associate Director
Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing
Health and Aging Policy Fellow
World Alzheimer’s Month was launched nine years ago this September with the goal of raising awareness and challenging the stigma that surrounds dementia through its “Let’s talk about dementia” campaign.

So let’s talk about it. In total, about 47.5 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia – a number which surpasses the entire population of Spain.[1] Each year, there are almost 7.7 million new cases of dementia globally. In fact, in the time it takes you to read this sentence, another person will have developed this debilitating disease.[2]

Each one of those cases represents lives upended. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s or a related dementia are often stigmatized and misunderstood, and their caregivers – if they are fortunate enough to have them – carry this disease’s heavy burden along with them. It is, unfortunately, something I witnessed when my mother battled Alzheimer’s before she succumbed to it earlier this year. Eager to meet people and socialize, yet unable to form clear thoughts, those she reached out to were often frightened by her. Companions who knew her for years gradually stepped back, uncomfortable by my mother’s awkwardness and unsettling demeanor. Little by little, those she relied on fell away, until the only ones left were my father – her primary caregiver and husband of over 50 years – my husband, and myself. My mother didn’t understand why those who were friends were no longer there, but she did miss them.

That isolation creates a ripple effect. When we detach ourselves from those suffering from dementia, we are also cutting off their caregivers and families from much needed emotional support. Forty-seven and a half million people in world have dementia – people who need understanding and love, caregivers and families who need support and advice. The numbers may be overwhelming, but more than anything else, this is a personal disease. World Alzheimer’s Month is a time to recognize what all of those battling this awful disease are going through. It is a time to talk about dementia – yes – but it is also a time to seek out information, to extend a hand, and – perhaps most importantly – to listen and to connect.

[2] Alzheimer’s Disease International September 2020 Toolkit,
International Day of Older Persons

Dr. Tara Cortes, HIGN's Executive Director, has been invited to be a program and planning committee member for the 2020 United Nations Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP). UNIDOP is celebrated on October 1st and recognizes the contributions of older persons and the challenges they face. The 2020 UNIDOP will "highlight the role of the healthcare workforce in contributing to the health of older persons."

The UNIDOP 2020 event also promotes the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030), the World Health Organization's (WHO) global action plan to address the aging population's health needs. 

Click here to learn more about the International Day of Older Persons.
HIGN's Customized Learning Packages

HIGN is globally recognized for our geriatric eLearning for healthcare professionals. Our products can also be used to prepare future healthcare professionals, including students of nursing, medicine, and social work. 

We offer a range of topics that can supplement educational programs or course curricula. We also work with faculty to identify materials that can supplement their instruction. These customized educational packages are available at a discounted price.

If you are interested in adding our geriatric eLearning content to your curriculum, please email [email protected]
HIGN eLearning
30% Discount on all Materials

Older adults have been hit the hardest by COVID-19. Now, more than ever, ensuring they receive the best possible care is paramount. In light of that, we are offering a 30% discount on our materials through December 31st to help make sure we can get the best knowledge into the right hands, right now

Click here to visit the HIGN 2020 eLearning Catalog.