Alzheimer’s Association providing local support

By Jennifer Hoadley, CDP

Regional Manager, Southeastern MA

Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter

Alzheimer’s is a disease that impacts the entire family and takes a devastating toll on people living with the disease as well as their loved ones. Today, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and more than 16 million family members and friends are serving as caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association strives to enhance care and support for all impacted by the disease.

In Massachusetts and New Hampshire alone, there are more than 155,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease supported by roughly 408,000 family caregivers—a number only expected to rise. In an effort to draw awareness to the growing public health crisis and support the tens of thousands of families grappling with the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter offers several services and programs at no cost.

The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to ensuring no one faces this disease alone through education programs, support groups, webinars, and its 24/7 Helpline. In 2019, the Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter reached more than 45,000 people through education programs, conferences, and community outreach alone. The Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) offers information and guidance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The helpline answers more than 300,000 calls each year, and offers translation services in more than 200 languages.

Among the several education and support services offered by the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter are programs designed for those navigating life after a diagnosis. From specialized museum tours to relaxing cafes, these early-stage social engagement programs known as Alz Meet Ups provide opportunities for those with memory loss to re-engage and meet others who are seeking to live their best with Alzheimer’s disease. Alz Meet Ups offer a fun and comfortable way for those living with mild Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and their care partners to connect with each other, right in their own community.

As the world’s largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the association has undertaken a multitude of research initiatives working toward methods of treatment, prevention, and ultimately, a cure. The association has provided funds to nearly every major thread in Alzheimer’s research for more than 30 years and has invested over $455 million in nearly 3,000 scientific investigations. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, almost $1.2 million was awarded in 2019 alone, for a total of $9.75 million in local active funding to leading research institutions.

No stone can be left unturned. Through newly-awarded grants from the Alzheimer’s Association Part the Cloud Translational Research initiative, scientists are evaluating the use of existing HIV/AIDS, diabetes and organ transplant drugs as possible therapies for Alzheimer’s dementia. Other research funded by the recent grants will investigate novel drugs that might alleviate, delay or slow the brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s. Each researcher will receive up to $750,000 over two years. The grants provide essential support for early-phase clinical studies in people.

In addition, the association is coming off a successful year for public policy efforts, with state-level legislative wins and federal advocacy advancements that will continue to improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia along with their families. In December, congressional leaders announced an agreement to increase Alzheimer’s and dementia federal research funding by $350 million for fiscal year 2020. In addition to the research funding increase, the bill includes $10 million to implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.

A passionate, dedicated volunteer base helps move their mission forward. High-impact volunteers teach educational programs, create awareness while raising funds, promote change in public policy and facilitate support programs. These well-trained individuals are committed to educating the public and providing social engagement opportunities to those living with early-stage Alzheimer’s—expanding the reach of the organization’s programs to help meet the growing need for services and support.

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is growing, and growing fast. As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the number of new and existing cases of Alzheimer’s. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may grow to a projected 13.8 million. The Alzheimer’s Association continues to strive towards increasing awareness and combating this disease to help accomplish their vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information, or to access the Alzheimer’s Association’s free programs and services, visit or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.