Alzheimer’s Association Helpline offers help and hope during the holidays and beyond

Alzheimer’s Association Helpline offers help and hope during the holidays and beyond
By: Beth Ireland Last Updated: December 20, 2019

For many, the holidays can be a stressful time and for those who are dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, the stress can often be compounded. The Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter wants you to know that there is hope and help for anyone who needs it through the Alzheimer's Association's Helpline.

The Alzheimer’s Association Helpline is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week service available for anyone who needs support when dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia or any of the issues that come with the disease. 

“The helpline can assist with everything including signs and symptoms of the disease and also educating about local programs and services,” said Julie Collins, Northwest Indiana Program Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter.

Situations can arise at any time for those with Alzheimer’s, which is why having access to help at any time of the day is important. 

“If someone is in need, no matter what time of day, this is a wonderful helpline with clinical support that is available to those who need it,” Collins said.

From tips for caregivers to resources for those newly diagnosed, and much more, the helpline’s highly trained staff is here to help. Helpline representatives are handpicked and carefully trained, going through more than 100 hours of new-hire training as well as receiving ongoing coaching and training each month. But it’s not the training alone that makes them an excellent resource, it’s their heart for the cause.

“The representatives at the helpline are really devoted to the cause. When everyone else is enjoying the holidays, they’re taking calls trying to help in whatever way they can,” Collins said. “The staff is very kind, caring, and sincere in their desire to help people and families dealing with dementia. I don’t think you can find a more caring staff.”

The Alzheimer’s Association Helpline offers access to Master’s degree-level counselors and social workers, ready to walk you and your loved one through any questions or concerns you may have. They are also there to simply listen and lend their support. This is especially important for caregivers who sometimes don’t know who they can turn to.

“Caregivers can sometimes feel alone in this journey, and the staff at the helpline is an amazing resource who will spend as much time as you need to speak with you,” Collins said. “Sometimes, it’s just good to know that you have someone on your side that’s willing to listen and is there to help you.”

Another great feature of the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline is their accessibility to all that they have created. Through bilingual staff, they can help English and Spanish speakers and they also have staff that can accommodate more than 200 different languages, as well as offer access for the deaf, hearing-impaired, or speech-impaired. A TTY accessible helpline is available at 1-866-403-3073.

With holiday gatherings coming up, there may be added stress for caregivers, family, and loved ones dealing with dementia. When you need to speak with a real person and get some help, the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline is there to get you through those rough patches and offer help and hope. 

You can contact the Alzheimer Association’s Helpline at 1-800-272-3900. 

You can also find help and support online at https://www.alz.org/indiana.