Central New York Chapter News & Action Center

The End of Alzheimer's Begins with You.

Mohawk Valley Unites for Record-Breaking Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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More than 400 people took the pledge on Sunday to end the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death at the 2015 Greater Utica Walk to End Alzheimer’s Presented by roi Office Interiors. Individual walkers, teams, and corporate supporters banded together at SUNY Polytechnic Institute to raise $65,000, the largest total that the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter has ever raised in the 14-year history of the event.

“We are humbled by the support shown by the community today,” said Catherine James, chief executive officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. “We had a passionate committee driven by a cause that impacts so many.”

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Melissa Ryan of Rome was the leading individual fundraiser with $2,248. She was also the captain of the Booz Allen Hamilton team that raised $2,333, making it the top corporate team. Alpine’s Angels, representing Alpine Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Little Falls, raised $4,128 and earned top senior care team honors. For the Love of Lou Lou, a family and friends team captained by Mary Snider of Ava, was the top family and friends team at $7,755. Donations submitted through 4 p.m. on June 1, 2015 will count in this year’s total. Money received after the June 1 deadline will count in the 2016 total.

Walkers took part in a three-mile walk through the SUNY Poly campus, learned about how to become Alzheimer’s advocates, and participated in a meaningful ceremony that renewed their commitment to honor, remember and care for those with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, as well as fight to the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5 million people nationwide, including 380,000 here in New York State. An additional 1.1 million New Yorkers serve as unpaid caregivers for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia.

roi Office Interiors was the presenting sponsor for the Walk. Based in Rome’s Griffiss Business and Technology Park, roi is a full-service office design and furniture dealer.

Dementia Care 2015 Empowers Caregivers with Practical Solutions

526Dementia Care 2015, Central New York’s only conference for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, will take place on May 20 at the Doubletree Hotel Syracuse, NYS Route 298, East Syracuse. Conference registration is $75 and includes access to all presentations, continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments and a resource guide.

“Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia experience a myriad of changes that can be confusing both to the person living with the disease and their caregivers,” Katrina Skeval, chief program officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter, said. “We assembled our keynote and small group presentations with the intent of explaining the process of these diseases and how caregivers can manage their environment to provide the highest quality of life for the person diagnosed.”

DEMENTIACARE2015: Meet the Speakers and Register Online

The program features nationally- and internationally-recognized speakers on topics of Alzheimer’s disease and empowerment. Auburn’s Gwendolyn Webber-McLeod of Gwen Inc. will offer a keynote presentation on “Self Care: The Key to Effective Caregiving,” focusing on specific strategies that can be used to thrive through the joy and challenge of the caregiving journey. The morning keynote speaker, Jed Levine of the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter, will present “Finding Hope in Alzheimer’s Disease,” which zeroes in on validating the caregiver experience, acknowledging the emotional impact of the disease, and addressing challenges of acceptance.

Small-group presentations include:

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors, which reviews the relationship between dementia and behavioral difficulties, their triggers and how to reduce the impact on a person with dementia. Presented by Melinda Sobrado, Associate Program Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter.
  • Navigating and Advocating at the Hospital, which provides an overview of the admission, observation and discharge processes, as well as how to ensure quality care at every stage of treatment. Presented by Eileen B. Welch, LMSW, Veterans Administration Medical Center.
  • Nutritional Needs for Dementia, which confronts the challenges of eating for a person with a form of dementia, as well as providing proper nutrition at mealtime. Presented by Chaya Lee Charles, MS, RD, CSG, CDN, Outpatient Dietitian, Sodexho at The Centers at St. Camillus.
  • The OTHER Dementias, which compares and contrasts the different dementias, including vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Parkinson’s disease, among others, and discuss each disease’s unique challenges. Presented by Dr. Andrea I. Berg, M.D., Upstate Medical University.

Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter Temporarily Moves Kirkpatrick Day Program to Missio Church


>>Click to download the above map

Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter Chief Executive Officer Catherine James announced today that the Kirkpatrick Day Program, a social adult day program for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, will temporarily move to Missio Church, 620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse, beginning on Thursday, February 19.

The Chapter was forced to move the program because of frozen water pipes at its building, 441 W. Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse. The pipes froze during the record-setting winter temperatures on February 16 and the persistent cold has prevented them from thawing, forcing the program’s closure on February 17 and 18. Chapter officials are concerned that any warm up in temperatures may result in water leaks or broken pipes.

“This move is necessary to protect the health and safety of our participants and staff in both the short- and long-terms,” James said. “If the water pipes do burst, we know that there will be significant cleanup and repair that will result. Moving our program ensures continuity and routine in the lives of the people we serve, even though the activities and services we provide will take place in a different location.”

James said that the move is temporary but could impact the day-to-day business of the day program for the next two weeks. The length of the relocation depends on when water is fully restored, and how much damage results if pipes do burst.

“We have worked with plumbers to make sure that every possible step to resolve these issues has been taken, but now it’s up to Mother Nature to do her job and create a thaw that will help us bring a resolution to this problem.”

Chapter staff reached out to numerous agencies in the area and were immediately welcomed by Missio Church. The program will use part of the building that currently houses the church’s youth ministries.

“We are blessed to live in a community willing to help us in our time of greatest need,” James said. “We hope we can pay our neighbors back for their generosity down the road.”

Though the day program has moved, the Chapter continues to operate and provide support services for individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit alz.org or call 1-800-272-3900.

Still Alice to Opens Friday at CNY Cinemas

Alzheimer’s Association staff will lead a discussion and Q&A session following the Syracuse-area debut of the critically-acclaimed film Still Alice, which begins a two-week engagement at the Manlius Art Cinema, 135 E. Seneca St., Manlius, on February 13.

still_alice_posterFollowing the 7:30 p.m. showings on February 13 and 14, Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter CEO Catherine James will answer questions about Alzheimer’s disease, medical and scientific research, and caregiver support services available locally, as well as the on-screen portrayals in the film.

Still Alice is an award-winning film that provides an important opportunity to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease,” James said. “By providing a frank and open portrayal of how devastating the disease is, the film breaks down misconceptions and stigma about the disease, much in the same way Philadelphia broke down barriers surrounding HIV and AIDS.”

Showtimes for the 99-minute film are: February 13, 7:30 p.m.; February 14, 2:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.; February 15, 2:15 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.; February 16 at 2:15 and 7:30 p.m.; and February 17 through 19 at 7:30 p.m. The second week’s schedule is to be announced. Tickets are $9 for adults, and $8 for seniors, children, members of the military, matinee showings, and on all Tuesdays.

The film will also open at Cinemapolis in Ithaca on Friday, February 13. No screening times have been announced. Tickets at Cinemapolis are $9.50 for adults, and $8 for seniors, students, and matinees.

Still Alice, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, is based on the 2006 book of the same title by Lisa Genova. The Alzheimer’s Association worked with writers, directors and actors to guide the accuracy of a diagnosis, current research, the progression of the disease, challenges the person with Alzheimer’s face and interpersonal scenarios between family members. The plot mirrors the experiences that many people have felt on the road to, and following, their diagnosis. Alice Howland, a happily married woman with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

Julianne Moore, who stars in the film as Alice, won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Actress, and was nominated for an Academy Award. The film stars Alec Baldwin as her husband, and Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish as her children.

Memory Keepers Kicks Off Fundraising for Walk

FFBrunch4Our friends from Massena sent along an update from their recent event.


The Memory Keepers team, a friends and family team from our North Country Walk to End Alzheimer’s, organized a brunch to raise money for their team. Charlene Dumas, one of the team members, told us that their brunch and raffle went great and they will know the final totals from the event soon.


These “wraparound” events are just one of the many ways you can hold a gathering to raise funds and awareness for Walk. Email our Walk staff, who can provide you ideas or help you brainstorm ways to increase your Walk impact.


Greater Utica Walk to End Alzheimer’s Changes Seasons, Location

Walk Purple Ping

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the national movement to unite millions in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Beginning in 2015, the Greater Utica Walk will change seasons from fall to spring. The 2015 Greater Utica Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on April 26 at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica.

“Central New York winter’s are long and brutal,” said Georgia Vieira, associate development director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter and manager of the Greater Utica event. “People want to get out after the snow melts and the weather warms up. Why not make that first walk of the spring one for a great cause?”

While the 2015 Walk is only seven months after the 2014 version, it sets the stage for the event to take place every spring. The event also changes homes this year to SUNY Polytechnic Institute from New Hartford Senior High School.

“We are happy to call SUNY Poly our new home,” Vieira said. “It’s a beautiful campus, very close to Downtown Utica and just off the expressway and Thruway. Plus, we have the added benefit of self-containing everything on the campus and keeping people off of streets and out of residential areas. It’s the perfect location for a Walk likes ours that is looking for a more permanent home.”

Online registration and paper registration forms are available at www.alz.org/walk or by calling (315) 617-4025. The 2014 Walk raised nearly $37,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. Teams from the Utica Comets and Alpine Rehabilitation Center in Little Falls were among the top fundraisers at the 2014 event.

Volunteer Committee Chair Seeks Assistance
nangelicolaA volunteer committee will work with Chapter staff to plan the event. Nick Angelicola of roi Office Interiors in Rome chairs the group of corporate and community representatives from the Mohawk Valley. Booz Allen Hamilton, the U.S. Air Force, and Utica Comets are among the organizations represented on the group.

Angelicola became involved with the event after watching both of his grandmothers live with the disease. “Growing up, Alzheimer’s disease has been prevalent in my life,” Angelicola said. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with the disease at 54. At a young age I witnessed the terrible pain that this disease caused my Grandmother and my family daily.”

Angelicola’s grandmother fought the disease for 17 years before losing her battle. Recently, his paternal grandmother was diagnosed.

“The pain of the disease does not diminish the second time around,” he said. “Now that I am older, I am able to grasp the full magnitude of the disease. I can now see the affect this disease has on my grandfather, and my entire family.”

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a community effort powered by volunteers. Angelicola’s hope is to build a robust committee that not only assists on the day of event, but can spread awareness for the event by recruiting new walkers and teams, working with returning participants, and seeking support from the corporate community.

“I hope that having someone from the community advocating for the disease will help the community rally behind the cause and have a huge impact on finding a cure and supporting those who are affected by these terrible disease,” Angelicola said. To join the committee or learn about volunteer opportunities related to Walk, contact Vieira at (315) 617-4025 x120 or by email.

CNY Chapter Named Beneficiary of #unSelfieCNY Giving Contest

The Central New York Community Foundation announced today that the winner of last week’s #unSelfieCNY charitable drawing is Chuck Fiello, Jr. Chuck designated the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter to receive the $1,000 grant prize. Fiello designated that the gift be awarded in the honor if his mother, Cynthia Fiello, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in her late-50s.

“It hurts watching my mother go through this, but I am happy knowing that such a great thing is being done in her honor for the holidays,” said Fiello. “I wanted to help in hopes that others one day won’t spend their holidays wondering how much their loved ones remember holiday memories. With the help of the Community Foundation’s gift, I received one of the best Christmas wishes I could ever ask for.”

The Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter, which is dedicated to the elimination of Alzheimer’s disease and the support of individuals who have been diagnosed with it, is delighted to receive the grant support.

“We are grateful that Chuck selected the Alzheimer’s Association to receive this charitable gift,” said Catherine James, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. “The photo he used featuring him and his mom at an SU football game is a reminder of why the work of the Chapter is important. While you may not be impacted by the disease, chances are very good that you know someone who is. That reminder of our mission is the real power of the Central New York Community Foundation’s #unSelfieCNY contest.”

In just 24 hours, hundreds of individuals of all ages, families, and nonprofit staff, board and volunteers turned a camera on themselves for a “selfie” but this time for a charitable purpose. Members of the public were asked to “Tell Your Giving Story” in the form of an “unSelfie” – a photo of themselves stating what inspires them to give back to the community. Posting the photo to a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account with the hashtag #unSelfieCNY made it eligible for the Community’s Foundation random drawing to designated a $1,000 grant to a Central New York charity.

“Central New York is full of generous people and the #unSelfieCNY effort really highlighted that,” said Peter Dunn, Community Foundation President and CEO. “The people behind the organizations and causes featured in the submitted photos exemplify selflessness during this holiday season. While this effort was focused on only one day, we hope everyone who participated or observed are inspired to support local causes throughout the year.”

Those interested in seeing the #unSelfies posted can visit cnycf.org/givingtuesday.

Alzheimer’s Association Offers Gift Guide for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, and the holiday shopping season is in full force. Buying presents for friends and family can be difficult enough, but what if the person you are shopping for has Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia?

“Gift giving for someone with a dementia diagnosis can be a challenge,” said Catherine James, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. “It’s important to keep in mind the ways in which the person has changed because of the disease, the stage of the disease at which they are at, as well as their interests.”

“Just because a person has Alzheimer’s disease does not mean they are no longer interested in their lifelong hobbies. It means the approach to the hobby has to change. As caregivers, we may have to assist the person in initiating the activity,” James said. Continue reading “Alzheimer’s Association Offers Gift Guide for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers” »