While the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions in this country and around the world, the novel coronavirus presents unique challenges for more than 5 million Americans, including 110,000 people in Maryland living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter is offering free virtual education programs, as well as telephone and virtual support groups, in the coming weeks to help caregivers and their families. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a number of education programs that can help those living with Alzheimer’s and their families understand what to expect so they can be prepared to meet the changes ahead and live well for as long as possible.

“During this challenging time, it’s critical that all people in Maryland affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have ready access to information and support,” said Kate Rooper, president of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter. “While the COVID-19 crisis has impacted our daily lives, support and resources are even more critical for our caregivers and those with the disease. By transitioning our education programs from in-person to virtual presentations – and our support groups to telephone and virtual meetings – we’re providing real-time connection, vital information and support. Through these services, and more, the Alzheimer’s Association is here for our community.

Free webinar topics include Alzheimer’s disease and dementia basics, warning signs of the disease, effective communication strategies, caregiving, and brain health. Each virtual education program is approximately one hour and allows the audience to ask questions and engage with others going through the journey online. Information on upcoming webinars and support groups can be found on the chapter’s website at alz.org/nca and by calling the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900.

The Alzheimer’s Association also offers online resources, including ALZConnected®, a free online community where people living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, family and friends can ask questions, get advice and find support, and a section specific to caregiving during COVID-19. The Association’s free 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900) is available around the clock, 365 days a year, with professional staff ready to provide reliable information and support to for caregivers and families impacted by Alzheimer’s and all dementia.