Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Aging Committee, announced that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has set up a helpline to answer coronavirus questions for families affected by Alzheimer’s. Staffed entirely by licensed social workers, the helpline is available to answer questions in over 90 languages.
“Alzheimer's is a devastating disease to the mind and spirit, often robbing people of the golden years of their lives. It not only affects patients, but it dramatically changes the lives of family and friends who love and care for them," said Senator Collins. “The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America continues to be responsive to the needs of Alzheimer’s patients and their families, and this helpline will serve as a vital line of communication for vulnerable members as we work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The helpline can assist families with questions such as:
- How can I keep my loved one active and engaged while at home?
- Are there steps I can take to deal with the disruptions in the person's daily routine?
- What do I do if I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed?
- What steps can I take to reduce the chances of the person being exposed to coronavirus?
- What services are still available to help?
- How much should I share with my loved one about the pandemic?
- How can I stay connected with a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility that is no longer allowing outside visitors?
The helpline can be accessed seven days a week (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on weekends) through visiting the AFA website, www.alzfdn.org, and clicking on the blue and white chat box in the lower right-hand corner of the page. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 helpline for Alzheimer’s support that can be reached by calling 800-272-3900. Both helplines can be accessed at no charge.
As the founder of Task Force on Alzheimer’s disease in the Senate and the Chairman of the Aging Committee, Senator Collins has been a champion for all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Last month, the Supporting Older Americans Act, bipartisan legislation authored by Senators Collins and Bob Casey (D-PA), was signed into law. Their legislation reauthorizes and strengthens the Older Americans Act (OAA), the landmark legislation focused on improving the wellbeing of our nation’s seniors and their caregivers. The Senators’ Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act, which would allow Alzheimer’s patients younger than age 60 to access support programs and services, was also signed into law through the OAA.