Joan Adams is an education specialist for Alaska's Alzheimer's Association.  She came today to teach us more about different cognitive issues in Alaska and the forms of assistance that the association provides.

Joan does a great deal of public outreach and education for the public.  The Alzheimer's Association in Alaska provides many avenues of helping provide assistance not only to those possibly suffering from cognitive issues, but also for people who take care of them.  Her busiest time tends to be in November, during Alzheimer's Awareness Month.

The association provides a variety of services: consultations, providing written educational materials, grants for medical equipment and home modifications, monthly classes in caring for those who may be needing treatment, and quite a bit more.  She has been informing the public for many years, and some of the statistics she showed were quite astonishing.  For instance, an estimated 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease in the U.S., and someone develops the illness every 69 seconds.  Future projections estimate millions more will contract this illness, and greatly increase the number of needed caregivers as well.

There were many questions from the audience, and Joan took the time to answer them.  Her work is more of a passion than anything else, and this subject is something that almost all of us will be learning more about whether we wish to or not.