In 1983, a Baton Rouge neurologist, Dr. Steven Cavalier, and his nurse, Mona Romaine, RN, who cared for Alzheimer’s patients hosted an informational meeting for caregivers and patients. They planned for only 30 people to come to the meeting, but were shocked when they stepped out to speak in front of a packed house of over a 100 people in a standing room only crowd. It was apparent – there was a serious need in Baton Rouge for guidance with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Fast-forward more than 40 years later and that informal support group has evolved into Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, the only non-profit organization providing support and education to 10 parishes in South Louisiana and the approximately 20,000 people with the disease.
Today Alzheimer’s Services serves the community through education and training programs on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia; support services for the memory-impaired, as well as physicians and caregivers; a Resource Library; telephone HelpLine; raising community awareness of the disease; social activities for families and patients; and Charlie’s Place Respite Centers in Baton Rouge and Gonzales.
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE COMMUNITY!
America for the 5th time. Hosted AFA’s ABC’s of Alzheimer’s in April. Provided dementia specific training to healthcare professionals in partnership with LSU School of Social Work and Ochsner Health System in the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. 536 employees from 45 nursing homes attended Dementia Care curriculum training as part of the Louisiana Department of Health’s effort to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes. Received a record number of new Rosemary Society Members and raised over $500,000 at the
annual Memories in the Making Luncheon. Held the 26th Annual Education Conference with keynote speaker Richard S. Isaacson, MD addressing brain health. Other speakers included Matt Estrade, Matthew Calamia, PhD, and Jean Gatz. Monthly Lunch-N-Learn education series returned to the Alzheimer’s Services office. Held the 25th Annual Walk/Run to Remember on October 19. A luncheon was held to recognize past Honorary Walk Chairs, and runners received a 25th Anniversary Commemorative Medal. Celebrated Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in November by training 60 nursing students to administer memory screenings, providing 141 free Memory Screenings, hosting an Open House at the Alzheimer’s Services office, providing a special Lunch-N-Learn, and holding a workshop for activity professionals. Barbara Auten, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Services, was recognized as the 2019 Outstanding Professional Fundraiser by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Baton Rouge Chapter at their National Philanthropy Day Luncheon. Started three new caregiver support groups in New Roads, Port Allen, and Walker.
The Memories in the Making Luncheon was not held in 2021 due to COVID. Generous donors contributed just under $300,000. Held The 27th Annual Walk to Remember in person in November and raised $207,000. Recognized November as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month with activities throughout the month. The Fall Festival was the first in person activity since the pandemic began. Marketing and Training Coordinator Ann Roeling re-certified as a Trainer with Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care program. Raised $62,536. in the 2nd annual 225Gives, the coordinated Giving Tuesday effort in Baton Rouge. Charlie’s Place received the “It’s Never Too Late” (IN2L) Communities That Shine Award. Held the annual Education Conference virtually with low attendance, Decided to suspend the conference until it could be held in person again. Held Drive-thru TLC events in outlying parishes to provide education and activity in a socially distanced, safe manner. Renamed the Resource Library in memory of former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana executive, PJ Mills, with a significant gift from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. Several support groups began meeting in person again. Received $1805 from Magnolia Brook Assisted Living’s Alzheimer’s Art Auction with art created by Magnolia Brook residents. The Alzheimer’s Book Club returned to the Alzheimer’s Service’s office with a hybrid format. Staff returned to the office full time in April.
fundraiser. Alzheimer’s Services building dedicated as the The Valluzzo Center in recognition of Charles L. Valluzzo for his unselfish and tireless commitment to the organization. Barbara Auten, Executive Director, was recognized as a Girl Scouts Louisiana East Woman of Distinction. The Memories in the Making Luncheon brought 23 new Rosemary Society members and raised $677,120. The 28th Annual Walk to Remember tripled attendance from the previous year with 1300 participants, 95 teams, and raised $223,865.