Dementia and Spirituality Survey

A friend of AGE is conducting a survey dealing with knowledge of and attitudes toward dementia, faith, and spirituality as a part of a masters thesis project.  For those who might be interested, see her invitation below:


I invite you to take a few minutes for an online survey that has nothing to do with the economy or politics or a consumer product!

I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation from the Seminary of the Southwest (SSW) in Austin, Texas.  I am conducting this survey as part of my senior study of attitudes toward and knowledge of dementia, faith, and spirituality.  The survey is for anyone.  The larger the number and wider the diversity of responses, the more helpful the study will be.

Your willingness to give honest answers to fairly personal questions will be deeply appreciated.  Responses are completely anonymous and not connected to you as an individual.  The general findings and implications will be offered in a workshop in Austin, Texas in the coming months and included in a final paper.

I hope you’re curious enough to take the survey.  And, please invite your friends, family, and associates to participate by giving them the link!   Responses are requested as soon as possible and no later than two weeks from the date of this notification. Just click here to take the survey now.

Many thanks for your consideration!

Barbara Wiederaenders
[For more information or questions, contact me at]

Upcoming events from the Capital Area Alzheimer’s Association

If you’re caring for an older loved one, please take note of the short calendar of events below, all sponsored by our friends at the Alzheimer’s Association of the Capital Area. If you want additional information on events, please check out their website. -SP

A Look Ahead: 2011 Programs & Events

Happy New Year from the Capital of Texas Chapter! We are excited to share information on programs and events coming up in 2011. As always, the best place for information on what we have going on is this newsletter. Contact Christian Wells with questions about a specific program or event. All programs are free of charge.

ALZ 101: Introduction to Alzheimer’s
Class intended for families with a recently diagnosed loved one and the general public. Topics covered include: What is dementia, What is AD include stages, Diagnosis & Treatment, Risk & Prevention, Things to know and do when coping with a diagnosis. Three standing classes are offered:

Austin: 2nd Tuesday at the Chapter Office at 6 pm

San Marcos: 3rd Wednesday at the Community Fish Hatchery Bldg. at 10:45 am

Round Rock: 4th Wednesday at the Baca Senior Center at10 am

Lunch N’ Learns
The centerpiece of our non-urban education and awareness outreach features presentations on a variety of topics in all counties served, except Travis. Lunch is provided to participants. Events are held at local restaurants, libraries, and community centers. Spring 2011 calendar includes the following:
January 14 in Copperas Cove, TX
February 11 in Lampasas, TX
February 25 in Giddings, TX
March 11 in Taylor, TX
March 25 in La Grange, TX
April 8 in Bastrop, TX
May 13 in Llano, TX
May 27 in Lockhart, TX

Facing the Challenge Caregiver Education Series
FTC is a four part series that educates family caregivers on disease and caregiving tips and techniques. The series takes place on Tuesdays and will be offered in February, April, June, August, and November.
Part 1 – ALZ 101: Introduction to Alzheimer’s
Part 2 – Behaviors & Communication
Part 3 – Assisting with Activities of Daily Living
Part 4 – Care for the Caregiver

Brown Bag Information Sessions
Beginning February 2011, the Chapter will host Brown Bag Information Sessions at the Chapter office (3429 Executive Center Drive, #100, Austin, TX). The educational events will feature a speaker on a variety of topics related to Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving. The sessions will be conveniently held during lunch and participants are encouraged to bring their meal. Light snacks and drinks will be provided. Call (512) 241-0420 or email to reserve your spot. Mark your calendar for the February class:
Friday, February 4
Selecting, Interviewing, Screening, Hiring and Managing a Caregiver
Presented by Edwin Young of Right at Home – Austin (West)
11:30 – 12:30 pm

Jan 5 – Days Gone By Education Series in Sun City
Hosted at the Cowan Creek Amenities Center (Florence Room) from 10:00 – 11:00 am by Scott & White Healthcare, Tiffin House and the Chapter. Join author, Deanna Lueckenotte, for this free monthly education series. Call (254) 535-7584 to register.

Jan 11 – ALZ 101 in Austin
Held every 2nd Tuesday at the Chapter office (3429 Executive Center Drive, #100, Austin, TX 78731) from 6 – 7:15, this class covers disease information, diagnosis, treatments, stages, coping tips and more. Reserve your spot at or (512) 241-0420.

Jan 14 – Lunch N’ Learn: Behaviors & Communication in Copperas Cove
Come learn about behaviors and communications associated with
Alzheimer’s disease and enjoy a complimentary lunch at Casa Olé, 2730 E. Hwy. 190, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 from 11:30 – 1:00 pm. Call (512) 241-0420 or email to register.

Jan 15 – Wimberley Health Fair in Wimberley
Hosted by the Mayor’s Fitness Council from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at the
Community Center on RR 12. Safety and fitness information and health screenings will be available. For more information, please call the Chapter office at (512) 241-0420. This event is free of charge.

Jan 19 – ALZ 101 in San Marcos
Held every 3rd Wednesday at the Fish Hatchery Building behind the Chamber offices at Hopkins and CM Allen Parkway from 11 – 12:15 pm, this class covers disease information, diagnosis, treatments, stages, coping tips and more. Reserve your spot at or (512) 241-0420.

Jan 25 – Respite Care Stakeholder Forum in Waco
Come learn more about respite services for caregivers caring for individuals of all ages, disabilities and health conditions. Share stories, ideas and resources with other caregiving experts and providers of respite care services. This forum will be held from 9:00 am – Noon at the Heart of Texas Area Agency on Aging (1514 S. New Road, Waco, TX 76711) & is presented by the Texas Respite Coordination Center, the Texas Respite Coalition and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. RSVP to For more information, please call (512) 478-4715.

Jan 26 – ALZ 101 in Round Rock
Held every 4th Wednesday at the Allen Baca Center (301 W. Bagdad, Bldg. 2, Round Rock, 78664) in the Arts & Crafts Room from 10 – 11:15 am, this class covers disease information, diagnosis, treatments, stages, coping tips and more. Reserve your spot at or (512) 241-0420.

Feb 4 – Brown Bag Information Session in Austin 11:30 – 12:30 Selecting, Interviewing, Screening, Hiring and Managing a Caregiver. Presented by Edwin Young, Director of Right at Home – Austin (West). Call (512) 241-0420 or email to reserve your spot.

Feb 8 – Senior Day at the Capitol in Austin at 10:30 am

Alzheimer’s Association: Maria Shriver’s March on Alzheimer’s Disease

First Lady of California Maria Shriver kicks off campaign to raise awareness of Alzheimer's Disease.
First Lady of California Maria Shriver is a long- time advocate for families struggling with Alzheimer’s. Shriver’s father, Sargent, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003. Since that time, Shriver has been deeply involved in raising awareness and funding for Alzheimer care and research.

The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s

This comprehensive study, done in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, details how Alzheimer’s affects 10 million American women as caregivers, advocates and patients. Purchase a copy.

Maria Shriver’s March on Alzheimer’s

The inaugural Maria Shriver’s March on Alzheimer’s, a 5K march and candlelight vigil, was held Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, in Long Beach, Calif. The effort raised more than $276,000 to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

For more information, visit

HBO Documentaries

Maria Shriver was an executive producer of HBO’s “The Alzheimer’s Project,” which included the Emmy-Award winning segment “Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?” which is geared toward children and young teens coping with a grandparent’s Alzheimer’s. The film is based on her book, “What’s Happening to Grandpa?” Watch the films here.

What’s Happening to Grandpa? by Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver has generously donated copies of her children’s book – “What’s Happening to Grandpa” – to the Alzheimer’s Association. This heartwarming book is about a grandparent with Alzheimer’s, and is a great resource for explaining the disease to kids. Book sales benefit the Association and helps support our mission. Buy the book now.

Click here for more information on this amazing collaboration and for links and resource at the Alzheimer’s Association website.

BREAKING NEWS: New Recommendations for Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Experts Propose 3 Stages Aimed at Earlier Detection
By Kathleen Doheny
Experts from the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association have issued suggestions to update the criteria for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

The new proposed criteria will be the first update in 26 years.

”The last set of criteria for Alzheimer’s disease [diagnosis] were originally developed in 1984,” says William Thies, PhD, chief medical and scientific officer at the Alzheimer’s Association. “We know a lot more now than we did before, so the new criteria are a reaction to that knowledge,” he tells WebMD.

The draft reports for the new criteria were presented Tuesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Honolulu.

The criteria, aimed at better and earlier detection of Alzheimer’s disease, cover three stages believed to exist today: pre-clinical Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment, and the last stage, Alzheimer’s dementia.

Read more here at Web MD

Also check out more news on this topic at the New York Times and Reuters.

Blogger’s note: This is a huge change in the diagnosis and care for those with Alzheimer’s disease! Stay tuned as we keep you updated on how this impacts insurance, health care and more. -SP

Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance (ADEA)

Evidence suggests that as leaders of corporations promote a healthy workforce, employees listen and take actions. The Alzheimer’s Association would like to to take action and become an inaugural member in the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance (ADEA) to help promote the importance of Alzheimer’s early detection to your employees. Early detection of Alzheimer’s empowers all those impacted by the disease be a part of the solution and help in making care and financial decisions for the future. Your participation in ADEA will people people to:
• Become more aware of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
• Seek more information about Alzheimer’s disease and resources available
• Engage a dialogue with their doctors about the warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease.

Participation in the Alliance does not require a financial contribution. What matters most is your ability to increase awareness among your own employee base and with other companies and organizations throughout the country. You will receive a number of benefits and resources including an Early Detection Toolkit. To learn more about ADEA visit: or contact Janis Robinson, Director of Corporate Initiatives at (312) 335-5713 or

Breaking News: Major Victory for Alzheimer Advocates

From the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has added early-onset/younger onset Alzheimer’s to the list of conditions under its Compassionate Allowance Initiative, giving those with the disease expedited access to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Alzheimer’s Association, a longtime advocate for those with early-onset Alzheimer’s, has played an integral role in this movement to reduce the length of disability decision process.

Sign AA’s Thank You Card to SSA by clicking here.

Read more here.

Living With and Writing About Alzheimer’s

From the Practical Care Continuum newsletter.

Bob's Blog: Living with Alzheimers
Follow a blog written for USA Today by Bob Blackwell, a retired CIA operative who now has Alzheimer’s disease. Bob has agreed to blog regularly as he becomes more cognitively impaired with the disease’s progression. His wife, Carol, adds comments. You can leave questions and comments as well. Read here.

Learn about Alzheimer’s for FREE in Central Texas


1st Tuesday of the month – Georgetown Public Library 402 W. 8th St. Georgetown. 6 – 7:15 p.m.

2nd Tuesday of the month
-Alzheimer’s Association Office 3429 Executive Center Dr., Ste 100 Austin 6 – 7:15 p.m.

3rd Tuesday of the month
– The Bridgemoor at Killeen 2710 Cunningham Rd. Killeen. 6 – 7:15 p.m.

4th Tuesday of the month – City of San Marcos Old Community Fish Hatchery, 204 CM Allen Parkway San Marcos Noon – 1:15 p.m.

The class titled An Introduction to Alzheimer’s Disease: ALZ 101 is designed for anyone who suspects memory loss and/or is interested in learning about the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, what Alzheimer’s disease is, how it progresses, the importance of diagnosis, current treatment options, and available community resources.

At the end of the presentation, there will be time for questions and answers. The program is facilitated by Alzheimer’s Association staff and educational materials will be available. There is no charge to attend, however to reserve a space or for additional information please call the Alzheimer’s Association at (512) 241-0420 ext. 16 or e-mail

Today, approximately 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including 280,000 Texans. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Concurrently, every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease and by mid-century someone will develop Alzheimer’s disease every 33 seconds. With numbers climbing at such drastic rates, ALZ 101 is an excellent way to become enlightened about Alzheimer’s disease

Check out the Central Texas Alzheimer’s Association website for more information!