The Alzheimer Family Program (AFP) was established in 1980, under the name "The Alzheimer Society." Its purpose is to provide caregiver education, support groups, and community outreach related to Alzheimer's disease.

Sponsors: The UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging (CCHA) funds the program. Additional revenue for the program comes from contributions and memorial gifts. Virginia Wadley Bradley, Ph.D., Director of the Dementia Care Research Program of the CCHA, provides leadership to the AFP.

Currently, three areas of emphasis define the goals of the AFP.

Lifeline phone consultation services: Staff members of the AFP provide telephone consultation to caregivers in response to their specific needs. Staff members are trained to respond with empathic and active listening techniques. Telephone consultation also leads to the dissemination of educational materials and resources to address specific caregiver needs. Approximately 50 information packets are distributed each month.

Information on dementia and dementia-related services and facilities: The AFP offers educational materials to caregivers about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, tips for addressing common cognitive and behavioral changes that might occur, and tips for caring for oneself while caring for a loved one with dementia. The program also provides information on practical resources related to financial and legal issues, transportation, respite care, and long-term care. These materials are included in a packet mailed to interested persons upon request.

Caregiver support groups:  The AFP maintains a complete list of all caregiver support groups in Jefferson and surrounding counties and conducts several of the groups. Group meetings provide caregivers time to interact, share stories and advise each other. Caregivers learn from each other, and several groups also provide an instructive component
to teach caregivers about Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia and about skills that can help them in their caregiving role. A current listing of support groups is
included in the information packet that is mailed to interested persons upon request.

Community Outreach: Sharing information and knowledge about AD and caregiving with the community is a central goal of the AFP. The AFP conducts public education to promote awareness of Alzheimer's disease and to enhance caregivers' knowledge and expertise in caring for their loved one. Workshops, in-service training, public talks and seminars reach a large number of both professional and family caregivers who otherwise might have limited access to patient care information.

How to Receive Information:

To receive an information packet with educational materials and a listing of area support groups, please call 205 934-2178. You will hear a recording that lists other
area resources and telephone numbers. You will then have the opportunity to leave a message with your name and mailing address. If you give your name and address, a packet will be mailed to you.