Alzheimer’s Chapter Is Here To Help The Help

Wednesday - November 23, 2011
By MidWeek Staff
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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and Family Caregiver Month, so the Alzheimer’s Association’s Aloha chapter wants to bring the facts and its support to local families.

The chapter offers assistance and education to caregivers on coping with and properly supporting their afflicted relatives. Norm Kumura has cared for his mother for more than 11 years and understands the true hardship of the situation.

“I think if the general public has not had personal contact with someone with Alzheimer’s disease,” the Kaimuki man said, “I doubt they could imagine the absolute lack of ability to remember and cognitive performing functions that we may take for granted from what we did five minutes ago, to not recognizing loved ones.”

Kumura has seen his mother’s disease progress over a decade, and he’s gone from nursing her in her home, then in his home, to now enrolling her at Hi’olani Care Center, which is at Kahala Nui.

A harrowing form of dementia, Alzheimer’s takes a huge toll on those diagnosed, as well as on their family and friends. It progresses in phases, is a terminal condition and has no cure yet. Hawaii has an estimated 31,000 individuals diagnosed with the disease.

The Aloha chapter offers a “What Now?” series that provides caregiving information for those who are unfamiliar with the disease.

It also offers one-on-one counseling and can link people with support groups and services.

For more information, call 1-800-272-3900.

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