June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month -- an opportunity to discuss the fact that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are a major public health issue. Pressing considerations of COVID-19 in memory care communities for aging loved ones are more present than ever. This month, we recognize the importance of education and support in providing needs for people living with dementia and their loved ones.
Currently in the US, 35% of all Covid-19 deaths are related to assisted living and nursing home residents and workers. While Alzheimer’s Disease does not increase the risk of a COVID-19 infection, increased age and associated health conditions such as dementia may pose a risk. The collaboration between caregivers, family members, and loved ones is essential in offering additional reminders in taking necessary precautions.
However, these precautions pose particular challenges for those living with Alzheimer’s Disease. In an interview with P&T Community, Angela Olea of Assisted Living Locators CEO, RN commented, “For those with loved ones battling Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia at home during COVID-19, this may be an extremely challenging time.” The reality that many relatives cannot visit their loved ones in an assisted living or in a nursing home has been devastating, as discussed in an NPR interview. The importance of regular updates from workers caring for the patient, along with phone calls or video chats, has been discussed among family members. Promoting brain health during a global pandemic is a challenging but necessary course of action during this time.
The Covid-19 outbreak has shown a huge need in proactive prevention rather than reactive measures. Our systems of predicting early stage agitation can improve testing, contact tracing, and proactive preparedness at a very early stage. EIS is joining advocates, volunteers, health professionals, caregivers, and family members to wear purple and fight Alzheimer’s disease this June.
On Saturday October 5th, Early Intervention Systems (EIS) officially launched their venture after proudly walking with friends and family in the Alzheimer's Association of Greater NJ Chapter's Mercer County Walk to End Alzheimer's. This October communities across the country are partnering with the Alzheimer's Association to participate in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's, the world's largest fundraiser for Alzheimer's care and research. As part of their mission to improve the quality of care, especially in memory care communities, Team EIS raised over $2,000 in its first two weeks of fundraising for this event. By the end of the year, the team hopes to raise more than $5,000 in support of increased access to care, funding, and research for the Alzheimer's Association.
Early Intervention Systems' official launch follows almost two years of committed efforts to improving their technology, competing at startup competitions, and researching markets to identify early stages of agitation. Throughout the startup's journey, they have grown as a team while committing to their mission and values. Our team consists of four GWU students and recent graduates, along with several advisors that are helping to bring this product to the market.
EIS is proud to bring on Jeff Borghoff, who will serve as our patient advisor due to his diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 51. Partnering with Jeff and the Alzheimer's community, EIS hopes to raise the standards of care across healthcare facilities.