Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I); How can three little words have such a big impact? Undoubtedly, you’ve been hearing a lot of discussion on this topic. That’s because it affects so many areas of our society. Not the least of which is healthcare. Delivering healthcare equitably and conducting research in a way that represents diverse communities is vital. What does that mean? As it relates to communities, it means that all have access to the best possible care regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, physical disability, and socioeconomic level.
This Episode of Sage Aging
Keith Gibson of the Alzheimer’s Association joined me for this episode of the Sage Aging podcast. Keith is the Director of DE&I for the Alzheimer’s Association, Florida. But Keith has a personal connection to Alzheimer’s Disease too. A former caregiver for his brother, Keith has experienced many of the things he so passionately advocates for. By the way, if you haven’t yet, check out our new Family Caregiving Guide. It’s a great compilation of articles and videos to support and educate family caregivers.
You can listen to episode 63 of Sage Aging by clicking the player above. You can find the transcript at the bottom of this page.
What We Covered
We covered a lot of ground in this conversation, but here are the key points we covered:
What do diversity, equity, and inclusion mean in terms of healthcare?
Why is DE&I important in terms of families of all races, gender identities, and backgrouds?
Why is DE&I important in terms of research?
What are some of the initiatives/partnerships being implemented?
What initiatives affect families who are navigating Alzheimer’s and dementia right now?
Why should families dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s connect with the Alz Association and what help is available?
Sage Aging Episode 63: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Alzheimer’s
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Alzheimer’s
[00:00:00] Liz Craven: Welcome to the podcast. Keith, thanks so much for joining me today.
[00:00:07] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: It is my pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.
[00:00:11] Liz Craven: Oh, I’m thrilled to have you. And you know, there are three little words that we’re going to talk about today that have such a big impact on so many facets of our life and society. Today, we’re going to talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion. And I’m so looking forward to this conversation, but while our listeners marinate on those words for just a minute, why don’t we start with having you tell us a little bit about yourself.
[00:00:38] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Well, it’s my pleasure. I am the director for diversity equity and inclusion. For the Alzheimer’s Association for the state of Florida. And I’m also one of two research champions. I have been with the association since June of 2016. And my responsibility as a Director for Diversity Equity and Inclusion is overseeing all the all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion initiative for the Alzheimer’s Association.
That’s my professional connection to the disease. I have a personal connection to the disease because I was a caregiver for my brother who died at age 54 from vascular dementia. And that was a blessing in disguise, because it really helped me to really understand, the standpoint of the journey of being a caregiver and providing that support and care for a loved one.
[00:01:38] Liz Craven: Boy isn’t that something, once you join that club, the caregiver club, you view life in a completely different way. Don’t you?
[00:01:46] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Absolutely. One of the things I always like to share with our constituents and particularly our caregivers and the persons that are living with the disease is that as part of the journey, you will become a student of the journey. And it’s really up to you in terms of what type of student that you would want to become.
And that could be a good student or a bad student, but at the heart of that, which really makes that determination is your willingness to change, because this is going to be a journey that’s going to have. Turns and twists and you just have to be prepared and open to change. If you are prepared and open for change, you will definitely see the difference of learning more about the disease and as well as helping you to understand what’s in store.
[00:02:40] Liz Craven: So in your own story, did you have a lot of familial support when you were caring for your brother or were you kind of out there on your own?
[00:02:48] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: In the very beginning. I’ll tell you what triggered my brother’s vascular dementia. He suffered two major medical events. He suffered a massive heart attack and a stroke all at the same time. And so, really, it was like we were in shock because you know, we’re dealing mostly with the health issues first and foremost, the heart attack left his heart severely damaged in the stroke, lifting paralyzed on his left side.
And so, there was not that much that they can do with my brother’s heart condition, beats down medication and short of having a heart transplant. So the focus kind of like pivoted to just simply helping him regain the use of his left side, which was done through physical rehabilitation. But I knew that I had
some knowledge of the disease and how to go about to get a probable diagnosis and, to get a probable diagnosis, you would need to have , three doctors involved, the primary care physician, the neurologist, and a neuropsychologist, and to get all three, to communicate with each other, to get to that probable diagnosis, it was a bit of a challenge, but once I was able to get through that challenge and get that probable diagnosis. That’s when the planning of the care became a top priority and being the youngest of nine, trying to coordinate that with my older siblings and getting them to understand about the disease and what’s all going to be involved in this journey,
it was a bit of a challenge because they were like, Well, I don’t know what to do. Maybe he’s better off being left in a long-term care facility, like a nursing home. And I was very adamant that no, I wanted my brother to come home. And so, I made the choice to bring my brother home, to live with me.
And after a period of time, my family members finally got on board and they started to provide that support and relief that all caregivers need because you know, you’re talking about providing care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s not uncommon for the caregivers to expire before the person that has the disease from the lack of not taking proper care of themselves.
And so it was like, it was a in the beginning it was a little bit, you know, bit of a challenge. But through educating and my family members understanding what I was doing and again, that’s where that change agent comes into play. I didn’t force it on them.
I respected their decision early on to kind of like have a hands-off approach. But then when they saw what I was doing and they saw my brother and how he was responding, they got on board. And that really helped make the caregiving a little bit of more of an easier journey versus one caregiver doing with all by themselves without the support of family members, because family members can they can pose a little bit of a challenge and even add to the stress of the primary caregiver because of them not wanting to be involved and that is not a good dynamic to have in the very beginning.
[00:06:05] Liz Craven: No, it isn’t. Boy, that is a whole episode all on its own. Talking about the caregiver dynamic. Every family is different. Every situation is different and I’m so happy that yours ended up the way it did a little bit of a rocky start, but you guys got there and that is such a credit to your family.
And I’m sorry for your loss. And I’m sorry that you all had to go through that. But. It has turned into a blessing for other families because here you are making a difference.
[00:06:35] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Absolutely. I tell folks all the time that I have the greatest job in the world, because I am able to share my brother’s legacy and to share a testimony, to letting them know that there is hope and that in all of this, you know, we’re in search of a cure, we’re searching for a way to slow or stop this disease, but the best medicine that’s readily available right now does not come in
a bottle does not come in the form of a therapy. It’s an emotional medicine called love. And that to me just transcends so many barriers that you would face with your loved one, because I tell you early on and I’m not ashamed to say this. I was not a good caregiver. And that was because I was more focused on disease then the relationship and the moment that I was able to pivot from the focus on the disease and the focused on the relationship, I became a much better caregiver and my brother became.
So much more comfortable because you know, we didn’t allow that focus to consume us. We said, you know what? We’re going to live each day to the fullest and I just loved on my brother. And, um, he responded particularly when he would have those moments, when, you know, the behavior became a challenge. But
he would have the wherewithal to tell me, you know what, or ask me “I was bad, wasn’t I”, and I would say to him in response, “you know what, I love you so much.” And I would give him a hug and a kiss. And he would say, “I love you too,” because that was a mechanism to not have him to focus on the disease, but just the relationship to let him know that I’m his brother and that I loved him and that no matter what we were in this journey together, and that was so rewarding because we had a great time together, you know, it was to a point where we stayed in the moment.
We didn’t worry about things being perfect or him not being able to do all the things that he used to do and me reassuring him. That’s okay. That just made a big, difference, it made a world of a difference.
[00:08:44] Liz Craven: What a true gift you gave to him. That’s just beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.
[00:08:49] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: My pleasure.
[00:08:50] Liz Craven: So let’s jump into today’s topic. You mentioned barriers before, and there are a lot of barriers when it comes to health care, but there are more barriers for some than for others. And I think all of us have probably had a part in some conversation or another about diversity, equity and inclusion. But let’s start at the beginning of that and really define what that means.
What are your thoughts on that?
[00:09:19] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: At the Alzheimer’s Association, our mission is to lead the world to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementias. And this is done by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection and maximizing the quality of care and support. But we know, we cannot succeed in that mission if we do not have input from all of the communities that we serve. And that’s why strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion is one of our key pillars. the association recognizes that it’s going to take the broad concept of diversity, which is to include, the consideration, of, but not limited to race,
ethnicity, gender, age, social economic status, sexual orientation, regional place, or national origin, religion, language, and persons with disabilities. When we talk about inclusion, we want to be inclusive of all these diverse constituents that we serve and to ensure that their interests and needs are welcomed and fully considered
in our multiple communication platforms, our mission activities, and even in our business practice as an organization, because we want to increase our reach and mission engagement level with the audience and the way that we’re doing that is by committing to identifying the barriers that may prohibit members of the black, African-American, Hispanic/ Latino, and LGBTQ communities from receiving information about Alzheimer’s and education and resources.
[00:10:59] Liz Craven: So tell me how come that matters. I’d love to hear your perspective on that. Some people will say research is research and resources are resources. But there is a difference. Why is that?
[00:11:10] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: The best way to frame it is to put it into the proper perspective of statistics. Although whites make up the majority of more than 6 million Americans that have Alzheimer’s disease, African-Americans and Hispanics are at a higher risk. Meaning African-Americans are about twice as likely as whites to have Alzheimer’s or another dementia and Hispanics are about one and a half times more likely than whites to have Alzheimer’s and, or other dementias.
When we’re looking at the LGBTQ community, we realize that statistically speaking, LGBTQ older adults are twice as likely to remain single as they age twice as likely to live alone. And three to four times less likely to have children to support them resulting in a challenging environment for addressing dementia related issues.
The stigmatism that comes and discrimination that many in the LGBT community experiences across your life may continue into their later years. And so there’s going to be a fear of mistreatment from healthcare professionals and aging providers that may cause our LGBT elders to delay seeking care until their health deteriorates
it hits a crisis level. So to put that in a nice perspective, we want to look at addressing the health disparities, the health equity. Those statistics are a clear indication of health disparities and health equity. We’re talking about having access to proper treatment and care. And Last year’s facts and figures, which is a report that’s published every year,
it identified that discrimination is a barrier in accessing healthcare. And it’s going to definitely take awareness of the unconscious bias that really exists. when you’re talking about people that are a different color or origin or sexual orientation and them having access and to be belonging because we all have unconscious biases that we may not be aware of.
So when you ask me, what does diversity equity and inclusion mean? I can just sum it up into one statement, unconscious bias. That’s really what it is. when we can eliminate that unconscious bias, then those numbers, those statistics that I just shared will definitely go down.
[00:13:41] Liz Craven: Wow, unconscious bias. Now there is something we should all be digging into. That’s an ouch moment where you go. Okay. Let me dig a little deeper within myself. I know we all have them, want them or not, they’re there.
[00:13:55] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Yeah, absolutely. And again, that’s the whole thing is to have that conversation and
It’s not to be judgemental, but it’s to be, you know, creating a feeling of sense of belonging, a safe space, as we can say, because when we look at working with our diverse communities, it’s based on achieving three primary goals. And the first goal is to build that trust with them.
the second goal is to improve communication. And the third goal is to develop cultural competency. And that’s more so from an organization like the Alzheimer’s Association, because you know, I can really tell you that in June, of, 2020, the Alzheimer’s Association came out in light of, the George Floyd and Ahmad Arbery and the Brianna Taylor and others,
we came out and made a statement that we are against social injustice and the statement that we shared on our social media and even on our website says it all. We are working for a different future. And that future is a future that’s inclusion. Everyone feels like they belong they feel safe.
And that’s what we want to achieve through our work, because again, in order for us to be true, we have to be able to establish that sense of belonging.
Regardless of where you are, regardless of your race, your ethnicity, your gender identity, your age, your social economic status, sexual orientation, and so on.
So all of those things should not even matter when you’re seeking access to health. Because one thing I can tell you is that Alzheimer’s does not discriminate. It does not see any color. It doesn’t see any face. It does not see any type of difference. It’s a disease that impacts and affects so many people on so many levels.
[00:15:57] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–5e8a64a90b450e0063cc4221–sageaging: Yes, it is. It is. I’ve seen it across the board, including my own family. And it is a journey that is challenging at best. We’ll just put it that way. So it’s very nice to see this type of initiative going forward. And that the Alzheimer’s Association is a part of the larger conversation. Because as I mentioned before, we’ve all been party to all kinds of conversations about diversity and equity and inclusion, but especially in terms of healthcare it’s important.
And another factor that contributes to that importance is in terms of research. Can you speak to that a little bit?
[00:16:36] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Oh my God. That is so, so important because when it comes to research, we’re looking to make sure that no matter what treatment we come up with, that it will be available for all people, not just a few. And just to speak to the importance of diversity in our research is the fact that
once we find a mechanism or a biomarker, which is a way to detect through testing, we want to make sure that our government is going to be able to pay for it. A clear example of that is the new ideal study. The original ideal study, which was Approved by the FDA, which using pet scans and MRIs to be used to detect early memory loss and cognitive decline.
results were amazing. And therefore the FDA approved the use of pet scans and MRIs. So with that approval, now come the sticker shock. The cost or getting a pet scan or MRI. A pet scan or MRI can cost anywhere from four to $5,000, this was presented to CMS, which is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid,
and they were saying, this is great. However, we don’t see diversity in your study. So we need for you guys to go back and we need to see that diversity. So now that launched a new ideal study. The target groups are 4,000 black and 4,000 Hispanic to be included in that study.
So that way we can show a wide range of diversity, because again, if the study is only going to be originally targeting the white participants then that’s really not an all-inclusive study. Because again, when you look at it, you have to look at it from the standpoint of I’ll just use high blood pressure medication.
Okay. You may have the high blood pressure medication that may be intended for the general population, but it may not have the same intended effect in diverse communities because the biology is different. So therefore we need to, when we’re looking at a cure or a mechanism, we want to make sure that it’s all inclusive. The mere fact that you have research, which is being funded by the National institute on Health, as well as the National Institute on Aging. These are public entities that are based on grant dollars that are being given to researchers and these are public dollars. So we need to make sure that those public dollars are adequately spended properly.
So that’s why it’s very, very important for us to realize that we have to include all populations, not just a select group. And that’s why to bring it full circle, last year June, we had the approval of the drug therapy Aducanumab, which is now known as aduhelm.
Now, again, we know the participants in that clinical trial, 93% of them were white, and now in January CMS gave a draft decision on the approval for payment of this drug therapy Aducanumab or Aduhelm, and in their
draft, they said, well, we only will pay for those folks that are in approved clinical trials. Well, that in itself is very discriminatory because that leaves out folks that may not have the means to be able to pay for the cost of that treatment. And may not even have the ability to be involved in that type of clinical trial, which will leave out your black and your Hispanic communities and those that don’t have the mean social, economically to participate in those types
of clinical trials. So when it comes to research, research is so, so important when it comes to health equity and health disparity, because that’s the only way that we can really address, as we said earlier about the unconscious bias, because we need to make sure that everybody has access to the best medicine, no matter what their background may be.
[00:21:29] Liz Craven: Wow. That’s incredible. That was a lot. You may have to review that folks again, and we’ll recap that for you in a blog post, that will go along with this podcast episode, but to simplify. Basically, what we’re saying is there are a couple of negative outcomes that can happen if we don’t have diversity in our research and number one.
And the one that stood out to me the most is the fact that we can have a, difficult time getting medicines and therapies approved, if the research was not done in a very diverse way. So they’re going to say, in other words, well, wait, you need to go back and redo that research, which is double the dollars and double the time to get that research done.
And that to me really stood out as one of the most important factors as it relates to research. Would you agree that.
[00:22:21] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Absolutely a matter of fact, there is federal legislation that is being proposed to make sure that when these clinical trials and studies are being presented for , funding they will have to have that diversity component . Matter of fact, the federal legislation is called the enact act.
And this legislation is designed to ensure that when researchers submit their research for these grant dollars, that there is going to be diversity embedded in their research study. So that way we don’t have to waste dollars by having a part two of a clinical trial. Once we get to those amazing results, like with, I said earlier about the ideal study and you get the FDA approval, but then now we can get the FDA approval, but now we are going to need to
Identify how are we going to pay for this? So if we address that upfront at the very beginning, that’s going to save a lot of time versus having other ancillary studies that we’ll have to go along with it from the initial study.
[00:23:38] Liz Craven: Wow. That’s so fascinating. All right. So let’s talk about this then in terms of partnerships that the Alzheimer’s Association is engaged in.
[00:23:49] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: well, in terms of partnerships, with our DE&I initiative, we have identified a total of 21 national partners. Let me share a few of the partners so you can see how these partners are so important in what we’re doing? One of them is the National Football League Alumni Association. And this partnership is aimed at raising concern and awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias while providing care and support resources for those individual and families that are impacted by this.
So with this partner, during the next two years, the Alzheimer’s association will work with NFL alumni to deliver education programs and materials to more than 9,000 NFL alumni members in the public. So that is also one organization that we’re working with with our DE&I initiative. We’re also working with the
African Methodist, Episcopal Church, AME. It is through this national effort that we’re looking to reach African Americans and provide a community with important information regarding Alzheimer’s detection, diagnosis, care, treatment, and research and advocacy.
We also have a national partnership with the Mexican Consulate. And this again is highlighting programs that will play a very vital role in the Hispanic and Latino communities. Because education is so important with all of these partnerships. We also have a national partnership with Sage. Sage is services and advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders.
Sage is considered the country’s largest oldest organization that’s dedicated to improving the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults. And it’s due this partnership that we’re committed to a strategic and multi-pronged partnership approach that will help evolve and identify the needs
and learn best practices and for opportunities to engage our LGBT communities with the full mission of the Alzheimer’s Association. There’s 21 of them. I can, I can go
[00:26:14] Liz Craven: Oh, gosh. Well, do you have those in a list? We could actually attach those to the blog post,
[00:26:19] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: absolutely I can, I can. send, I can send that over to you
[00:26:22] Liz Craven: perfect. That’s
[00:26:24] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: And we’re still looking to grow our national partnerships, because again, we are of the thinking that we are better together and what better way to serve our diverse and underserved communities by working with organizations that are dedicated to doing the work in these communities. So we can just come along and add support and bandwidth to their reach in these communities.
[00:26:52] Liz Craven: My guess would be that there are quite a few superstar initiatives that have come out of some of these partnerships. Are there any that really come to mind as standouts for you?
[00:27:05] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: The superstar initiatives is right now, we are working with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses to educate the Hispanic community about research and the importance of it. And this is tied to The drug study called Ahead, which is involving the drug called Lecanemab , which is in that class of drugs
like Aduhelm that is being used to treat the biology of the disease meaning the amyloid plaques, whereas the other medications that are currently approved by the FDA, they only treat the symptoms, but Aducanemab and the other drugs that are in this class, they are looking at
treating the biology of the disease, because if you can treat the biology of the disease, then you can have a greater impact of increasing the number of years that a person can have a productive lifestyle. And so we know with aducanemab and the research that came out about that it was identified to be able to reduce mild cognitive impairment by 22%.
That’s huge. So that means that a person, even though they may have early onset Alzheimer’s they can have a longer period of time to have a quality of life. Just a couple of weeks ago, the special report in that facts and figures addressed understanding mild cognitive impairment.
One of the findings of that report is that the American public’s understanding of mild cognitive impairment is low. However the concern for it is high. Mild cognitive impairment is often confused with normal aging. It is not normal aging. What it is is an early stage of memory loss and other cognitive abilities
such as language or visual spatial perception it causes cognitive changes that are serious enough to be noticed
[00:29:21] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: by the person that is affected by and their family members and friends. But it does not affect their ability to carry out their everyday activities of daily living, meaning their personal care.
Symptoms of MCI may include forgetting conversations or misplacing items in the home. Difficulty in keeping track of the train of thought or losing your way to a familiar place, or even feeling overwhelmed when they have to make decisions or completing everyday tasks, such as paying a bill.
Research today is more geared towards early detection, early diagnosis, because it’s really not that much that we can do for a person that’s in the middle to latter stages of the disease. But if we can be proactive in our approach, Then we could reduce the number of people that will be impacted by Alzheimer’s and
I’m so excited to share with you the fact that the Department of Elder Affairs and the Alzheimer’s Association has partnered to create a program called AlzStars. And it’s a joint initiative to bring increased awareness of dementia and the resources available to Floridians.
it’s going to help the person to identify the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. And it’s also going to take the steps to receive an accurate diagnosis and understand simple communication. Tips this program will also allow folks to be able to access resources.
That’s going to be provided by the Area Agency on Aging, the memory disorder clinics, and Dementia Care and Cure Initiative Task Force. And it’s a challenge that we are putting to the entire state of Florida, that everybody in Florida will become knowledgeable about dementia and they will be aware of the resources.
the beautiful thing is that this program is totally free. So a person who’s interested in registering for this program, all they have to do is go to Alzstars.Org and they can register. And it’s a 45 minute online, educational program. And upon the completion of the program, the participants receive a certificate that says that they are an AlzStar.
And what better way to let folks know that you are aware of Alzheimer’s and you can actually help your neighbors to access resources. Because one of the things that is so evident about the Alzheimer’s Association and a lot of people don’t even know that we exist and it’s all too common for me to hear from a caregiver.
I only wish I had known about you early on. So that way I could have been plugged into the resources, because again we provide the opportunity for folks to be able to help navigate this terrible disease. And we provide them hope. And as they go on this journey it’s so comforting to know that they have access to resources and that they don’t have to go this journey all by themselves.
[00:32:36] Liz Craven: Well, that is a great segue into the next piece of this conversation which is exactly that. Why should families dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s connect with the association and part of that is programs like AlzStars. And I might mention, just to clarify, you do not have to be somebody who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia right now .
This is intended for the entire community to build awareness around Alzheimer’s because it affects all of us, whether we recognize it or not. When you are out in the community, going to your favorite restaurant or maybe at the grocery store. There are people in your circle who are affected by this and our own awareness makes a better situation for all.
[00:33:25] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Absolutely. Because again, people are afraid to let other folks know that they’re dealing with this challenge of this disease, because they don’t want to be judged or they don’t want to be dismissed. Oh, well, that’s not my problem that you that’s never going to happen to me.
I always like to ask this question, particularly whenever I’m out in the public doing a program or delivering a program like this; how many of you actually know someone that has been affected by this disease? Usually when I ask that question, no one usually raises their hand or there may be one or two people
then I say let me rephrase it. How many of you know of someone who has a family member that has been affected by this disease and then all the hands in the audience goes up. Because even though it doesn’t impact you directly, it impacts you indirectly because then you look at all the costs that are attributed to this.
It goes back to the old expression. Are you your brother’s keeper? Absolutely because you can see that a person that has this disease, they want to remain as independent as possible, but they are afraid to reach out for resources because they don’t want to be judged or they don’t want to be labeled.
Oh, they have Alzheimer’s and it’s that stigmatism. So we want to, with this educational program, like AlzStars and that’s just one of them. We have a variety of programs that are available to the public at no cost. All of our services are free. We, we offer education, we have support groups for caregivers and even for caregivers and persons that are in the early stages of the disease.
We are blessed here in Florida that we have two vehicles known as the brain bus that will come into communities to be able to offer information about this disease and help increase awareness about it. The last two years has been somewhat of a challenge for us here in the state of Florida.
As well as around the country and even the world. But now that the pandemic is kind of like slowing down, we are getting ready to get back out into the communities and to really let folks know that this information is readily available And we are here to help and to be of service to the communities.
[00:36:09] Liz Craven: And the moral of that story is if you or someone, you know, someone you love, if dealing with any of this, you need to reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association. Because as mentioned, there are a lot of resources that are readily available to you, whether it is
literature that you can consume on your own time, the website, which is incredible. You need to visit alz.org. I’ll have that link in the show notes and in the blog post, but also there are other things like support groups that were mentioned. There are webinars, tons of webinars that you can participate in live and ask your questions of the presenters.
We’ve participated in a few of those ourselves and it’s amazing. There is constant information being pushed out for you. So if you, or someone you care about is dealing with this, I’d really encourage you to plug in because that to the family who’s dealing with this, now, that is what is most valuable to you, a place that you can go right now for support and information. So I hope that you’ll take advantage of that. I’m going to provide all kinds of great links for you in the blog post and show notes. So I hope that you’ll go and click through and browse some of those.
Now do you also have a crisis hotline, a hour hotline?
[00:37:31] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: Yep. The 1 802 7 2 3900. It’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you call, you will not get a recording, you will get a master level clinician. And they are truly passionate about what they do. We want folks to know that we are resourced that as they’re readily available for them.
[00:37:53] Liz Craven: Well, thank you so much. This has all been really great information. And the last thing is a piece of sage advice from you that you’d like to leave our listeners with.
[00:38:06] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: The best Sage advice that I can leave our listeners with is the fact that one you’re not alone and that the Alzheimer’s Association is here for you. And again, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You don’t have to go this journey you’re alone. And if you know someone that may be struggling with. that, please be a good neighbor.
And guide them through the Alzheimer’s association. That’s the best thing that you can do for your neighbor. And in this current time we need to just simply operate with Love grace and kindness. to one another. I know that it’s been hard over the last two years, but you know what love grace and kindness is really so important today. And that’s the best Sage advice that I can offer.
[00:39:01] Liz Craven: Love grace and kindness. What a beautiful way to end this conversation. Thank you so much, Keith, for joining me.
[00:39:09] keith-gibson_recording-1_2022-03-29–t01-58-34pm–guest209351–keith-gibson: My pleasure, glad to be here.
[00:39:11] Liz Craven: And thank all of you for listening. I hope this conversation was a positive thing for you. I hope it has led you to be more curious about what’s happening surrounding Alzheimer’s and healthcare in general.
I hope that you’ll dig in and learn a little bit more. You know, you can have every episode of Sage Aging podcasts sent straight to your inbox, don’t you? It’s really easy to do. Simply go to elder care guide.com and click on the subscribe link that you’ll find on the left-hand side of the home page. You can also find Sage Aging on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
And we’d love to connect with you in any of those spaces that you enjoy. That’ll do it for today. Friends. Thanks for listening. We’ll talk real soon.
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Liz Craven, along with her husband Wes, owns Pro-Ad Media, publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, serving the local community for over 28 years. Liz lives in Lakeland and is very active in the local community, specifically in the area of aging. Liz serves on a number of local boards and committees including the Lakeland Vision and Age Friendly Lakeland.