Help for Alzheimer’s families

One of over 70 chapters serving communities across the United States, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Central New York Chapter is the only organization in our region dedicated to the elimination of Alzheimer’s disease and the support of individuals who have been diagnosed with it.

As described on its website (, the CNY chapter’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease "through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health."

The group also has a lofty vision: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

To promote that goal the chapter on Wednesday will hold its first care-giving conference: Dementiacare2012: Empowering Caregivers with Practical Solutions. The conference will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Syracuse.

Utica-area physician Dr. Scott Brehaut, medical director of the Stroke Center at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare, will open the conference with updates on the latest ways to diagnose dementia and treat it.

Keynote speaker at the conference will be Patti Kerr, a certified Alzheimer’s disease educator and author of "I Love You...Who are You? Loving and Caring for a Parent with Alzheimer’s." Her mother, who died in 2007, had the disease.

Some 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. That’s about 1 in 8 of older Americans.

If you need information and support about Alzheimer’s, the CNY Chapter can help. For questions about its support groups, call 800-272-2900. The chapter includes Oneida County and 13 other upstate counties.