New York, NY (PRWEB) August 28, 2012
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) was recently awarded a top prize for Care Crossroads, an innovative interactive Web site designed to meet the educational, emotional, practical and other emerging needs of caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the 21st annual National Mature Media Awards.
Care Crossroads – http://carecrossroads.org – garnered the Gold award in the Web site category, and care ADvantage, AFA’s free, quarterly magazine for caregivers, received a Merit award in the publications and editorial category.
Organized annually by the Mature Market Resource Center, the awards are the nation’s largest awards program that recognizes the best marketing, communications, educational materials and programs for adults 50 and older.
Care Crossroads addresses the rising needs and expanding numbers of caregivers nationwide amidst the “silver tsunami” of Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder that results in loss of memory and other intellectual and physical functions, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor, with the incidence doubling every five years after age 65. About 80 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease live at home, where families provide at least 75 percent of their care.
The interactive “community of care” site aims to help family caregivers meet other caregivers, learn about the disease from experts and peers, express their emotions through creative contributions, and above all, help diminish feelings of isolation so often experienced by caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.
Part of its educational materials include a “House of Care,” in which caregivers can click on specific rooms to discover strategies for coping with behavioral challenges, safety and daily routines, as well as recreational activities for people with the disease.
Moreover, the site fills a need for alternative support services, especially for caregivers whose demanding schedules prevent them from engaging at organized support groups or other programs at physical locations. For example, one unique feature is access to AFA’s social workers “live” via Skype and live chat, as well as e-mail and phone calls to the organization’s toll-free hot line at 866-232-8484, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) In addition, in partnership with Inspire, an online multi-disease health and wellness support community, caregivers can talk with like-minded peers on various issues—from diagnosis to end-of-life decision making—on an active discussion board.
AFA’s care ADvantage magazine gives a voice to dementia-specific issues in a practical and reader-friendly style. First introduced in 2004, the publication has amassed an estimated one million readers and is distributed free to caregivers, Alzheimer’s organizations, long-term care facilities and doctors’ offices nationwide. The current issue and archives as well as a subscription form are available at http://www.afacareadvantage.org.
“The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is honored that our focus on providing optimal support to the dementia caregiving population has been recognized,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO. “Understanding the toll this disease takes on a family, we look to provide services that fill gaps and offer caregivers support, guidance and inspiration. These are all essential to help caregivers cope with the daily challenges of this heartbreaking disease.”
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a toll-free hot line, e-mail, Skype, and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484 or visit http://www.alzfdn.org.