By Brittany Carel
Koreen Butler didn’t know where to turn for answers when her 57-year-old best friend suffering from Alzheimer’s was Baker Acted from her assisted living residence.
The Davie resident had watched her friend of more than 10 years start to deteriorate, and she wanted to make sure her best friend was taken care of. She looked online at alz.org and found the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 helpline number.
“I called because I needed support with caring for my best friend,” Butler said. “I wanted to know what the rights for a person with Alzheimer’s disease were.”
Butler said the call was helpful and calming for her. She said the person stayed on the line to listen to all she had to say.
“I felt so relieved to talk to someone who knows exactly how I was feeling,” she said. “I was advised on what to do about my friend’s current living situation, and also what to expect for the future.”
Butler was given countless tips on how to help ensure her best friend was getting needed care. Her call led to steps that got her friend into a nursing home better suiting her needs.
Those with Alzheimer’s as well as caregivers, friends and family like Butler call the helpline for resources and to just talk. In fiscal year 2015, the Southeast Florida Chapter alone received more than 10,000 helpline calls.
The Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline serves people with memory loss, caregivers, health care professionals and the public. The staff answering the calls can help you understand memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s; medications and other treatment options; general information about aging and brain health; skills to provide quality care and to find the best care from professionals; and legal, financial and living-arrangement decisions.
The helpline, featuring 200 languages, also has confidential care consultation provided by master’s level clinicians who can help with decision-making support, crisis assistance and education on issues families face every day.
If you ever are in a position like Butler or just want to know more about the disease, call 800.272.3900. Find out more about the helpline at our website.