Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resources

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Caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease is perhaps one of the biggest commitments a person can face. It’s filled with emotional stress and hard work, but it can also be meaningful and rewarding. Sometimes, families can feel isolated and may not know where to turn for help.

The purpose of the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance is to help families cope with all aspects of the disease through information, education, support, and advocacy.

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are strategies, therapies, and treatments that can help manage the disease. The Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance can be a guide and a support to persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their families as they learn about options and begin to plan for the future. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

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Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance Resources

Early Stage Support & Education Programs

Memory Cafés
A Memory Café is a social gathering place where individuals with memory loss, mild cognitive impairment, early Alzheimer’s, or other dementias, can come together. The cafés meet monthly to visit, share common interests, and enjoy refreshments. Each café is unique and offers a program or activity that’s fun and chosen by participants’ interests. Family and friends are encouraged to come. If you require assistance to participate, please have someone accompany you.
Crossing Bridges
Crossing Bridges is an educational discussion group for people who have mild memory loss, are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and a primary care partner. The overall philosophy of the group is to promote a fulfilled life while living with cognitive change. Sessions take place regularly throughout the year. An interview is required before participating in this group.
Meeting of the Minds
Meeting of the Minds is a memory enhancement program for people with mild memory impairment that includes stimulating activities, intellectual exercises, and tai chi-based exercise.
Learning Among Friends
After completing Crossing Bridges, there is an opportunity for participants to continue to meet together regularly to discuss topics of their choice and share support.
New Friends
New Friends is a companionship program for health professional students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and persons with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias (mentors) to meet one-to-one on an informal basis.

Other Educational Programs

ABC’s of Alzheimer's and Dementia
This program is for families of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. The sessions include information on medical aspects of dementia, research, effects of dementia on the person, safety, communication, and much more.
Legal and Financial Planning Seminar
A seminar for families that provides a general overview of legal and financial issues to consider for loved ones with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, or another dementia.
Solomon Carter Fuller Memory Screening Day
An annual event to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease in communities of color—risk factors, incidence rate, ways to reduce the risk, and steps to take if memory problems occur. It is aimed to raise the comfort level for people in seeking help and put them in contact with organizations like the ADAW, for support, information, education and advocacy. Free and confidential memory screenings are offered.

Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller was the first black psychiatrist in the United States and played a key role in the development of psychiatry in the 1900s. Dr. Carter Fuller also worked closely with Dr. Alois Alzheimer, the namesake of Alzheimer’s disease.

Boost Your Brain Health: Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s & Dementia
Current research indicates that lifestyle choices have significant impact on long term brain health. In this program you will learn how the brain works, tips on improving your brain health and how to lower your risk of developing dementia. This program features information about current research, scientifically-rooted nutritional and lifestyle advice as well as fun brain teasers and take come material.
Understanding Alzheimer's & Dementia
What is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease & dementia? In this program you will learn the answer to that question as well as what causes dementia and receive practical things you can do, whether you are concerned about yourself, a loved one, or are just interested in helping others who are impacted by memory challenges.
We All Forget: Is It Normal Aging or Should I Be Concerned?
We all forget names occasionally and misplace keys and wallets. Our brain may not seem as sharp as it once was but not all memory glitches signify the start of a progressive disease like Alzheimer’s. With growing awareness of the importance of having memory disorders diagnosed early, come learn what is normal for our brains as we age, how our memories work, and what we can do if we are concerned for ourselves or others.
Monthly Family Caregiver Education Program
Learn about topics of interest to family and friends of those with dementia like activities, communication, help for caregivers, resources and more. See our education calendar for current topics and locations- no reservations needed.

Additional Services

Speaker's Bureau
Trained volunteers and professionals are available upon request to speak to community groups and organizations about Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance services and topics related to brain health, memory, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Our most requested community programs are:

  • Boost Your Brain Health
    An interactive, scientifically based workshop for the general public which features nutritional and lifestyle advice and strategies to keep your brain sharp and resilient.
  • We All Forget: Is it normal aging or should I be concerned?
    This program is ideal for persons concerned about their own memories as they age, or those of friends and family. How do our memories work? What’s normal and what’s not normal for our brains as we age? And what should we do if we’re concerned for ourselves or others?
  • Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia
    This presentation offers an overview of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia including common warning signs, risk factors, and treatment options. Participants will also learn what to do if they are concerned about themselves or someone they know.
This active Public Policy Committee and statewide network advocates for policies and programs to assist persons with Alzheimer’s and their care partners before state and federal governments. Anyone interested in participating in advocacy is encouraged to join the network.

Click here for more information

Alliance Library
A well-rounded selection of books, videos and brochures for families and professionals are available for check-out at our main office (3330 University Ave., Suite 300, Madison) during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There are also additional books, “mental fitness” cards, bracelets, and more available for purchase.

Information & Resources

Recommended Websites

ADEAR (Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center)
ADEAR maintains information on Alzheimer’s disease research, diagnosis, treatment, drugs, and clinical trials, and Federal Government programs and resources.

Alzheimer Disease International (ADI)
This web site links to fifty-seven Alzheimer’s disease associations throughout the world, most in developing countries. It lists information about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) for the person with AD and the caregiver (in English and in 25+ languages). It also contains information on the global impact of Alzheimer’s as well as other activities of ADI.

Alzheimer Research Forum
A compendium of information for researchers, physicians and the general public, the site includes news, articles, discussion forums, interviews, diagnostic and treatment guide, directory of drugs and clinical trials, and research advances. It also provides access to such unique tools as directories of genetic mutations, antibodies, patents, and conferences.

Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Center
The Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Center provides comprehensive information on understanding Alzheimer’s disease and coping with Alzheimer’s symptoms as well as Alzheimer’s care.
A new website from Terra Nova Films dedicated to “streaming” visual educational material to family caregivers. The video material is able to turn words into pictures and scenes that can illustrate appropriate caregiving techniques and, in a sense, assure the user that he or she is not alone in this often lonely, difficult and stressful situation. Spanish language website:

Recommended Books
These books are available through the South Central and Southwest Library Systems, the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance library, and for purchase from the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance office (3330 University Ave., Suite 300, Madison):

Alzheimer’s Disease – The Family Journey
Caron, Wayne A., Patee, James J., & Otteson, Orlo J. Plymouth, MN: Northridge Press. 2000.

Alzheimer’s Disease: The Family Journey emphasizes that Alzheimer’s disease is a family illness that affects all parts of family life. This book is designed to help families better manage the family system, strengthen relationships and maintain overall family well-being.

Alzheimer’s Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends & Caregivers (2nd Edition)
Kuhn, Daniel, MSW. Alameda, CA: Hunter House, Inc., Publishers. 2003

According to author Daniel Kuhn, the early stages of Alzheimer’s can be the most difficult time for relatives and friends because they often don’t know much about the disease, or how they can be of help. This highly practical book fills the information gap. It is divided into three sections; how Alzheimer’s begins – causes and early symptoms, how to help a loved one with the disease, and how families and caregivers can help themselves.

A Dignified Life
Bell, Virginia & Troxel, David. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press. 2002.

A Dignified Life goes beyond the typical tips offered by most books and takes advantage of readers’ instinctive desire to build friendships and taps into the intuitive aspect of caregiving that is part of our very nature. It provides a complete model for care built around creative and effective communication and meaningful activities and includes touching stories that demonstrate how the Best Friends method continues to improve the lives of both those who have Alzheimer’s disease and those who care for them.

The Forgetting
Shenk, David. New York: Anchor Books. 2002.

First attracted to his subject by its horrific ability to destroy the human mind and body, journalist David Shenk ultimately finds reasons to accept Alzheimer’s disease – and almost forgive it – in The Forgetting. Shenk describes his work as a biography, the life story of a biological outlaw that sends victims “on a slow but certain trajectory toward forgetting and death.” But his illuminating portrait of this growing epidemic offers more than a basic chronology.

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing With the Disease
Koenig Coste, Joanne. New York, NY: Houghton-Mifflin Books, 2004.

Caregivers especially will find this guide to be an excellent resource, with helpful information on learning how to manage a loved one with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and valuable techniques for keeping communication going and helping to reduce frustrations. Topics include seeking a correct diagnosis, seeing the world from the patient’s perspective, enriching the patient’s life, receiving home care and more.

Moving a Relative with Memory Loss
Spencer, Beth & White, Laurie. Santa Rosa, CA: Whisp Publications. 2003.

This book was written to help families think about some of the issues involved in moving a relative with memory loss. It offers practical ideas for making the move an easier process. Topics include: why moving is hard, preparing to visit residential care, talking to your relative about the move, building relationships with staff, suggestions for visiting and much more.

Mayo Clinic on Alzheimer’s Disease
Petersen, M.D., Ronald C. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp. Updated 2006.

This book covers how the brain functions & what can go wrong, conditions that cause dementia, medical conditions that may accompany Alzheimer’s, current theories about what causes Alzheimer’s, treatments, tips for daily caregiving in a Quick Guide reference for caregivers, assessing your financial situation to pay for care costs, and much more.

Talking to Alzheimer’s
Strauss, Claudia. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2001.

Few books manage to balance practical suggestions and loving sympathy as well as Talking to Alzheimer’s, a concise and comprehensive guide to communication with both paid caregivers and their patients. While the title suggests focus on a specific disease, the recommendations are appropriate for any family struggling with serious communication issues, whether those issues are the result of stroke, surgery, disease, or an accident.

Understanding Difficult Behaviors
Robinson, Anne, Spencer, Beth & White, Laurie. Ypsilanti, MI: Eastern MI University. 1989.

This book offers practical coping strategies for responding to challenging situations such as agitation, wandering, incontinence and resistance to care.

Wisconsin’s Silver Alert Program

A Silver Alert is an emergency notification, requested by law enforcement, sent state-wide during an investigation for a missing person who is over age 60 and believed to have a permanent cognitive impairment.

Dementia-Friendly Communities

A dementia-friendly community is a village, town, city or county that fosters an informed, respectful quality of life for individuals with dementia and for their families.

Local Resources & Research Opportunities

Find comprehensive, printable service guides to inform you of available resources in your community and unique research opportunities in your area.

Please Consider Making A Donation
Your donations help us provide help and support to those living with memory loss and those who care for someone with Alzheimer's or other dementia. We are your partner along the journey!