April 14, 2006 | Frank Broyles, University of Arkansas Athletic Director, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Beverly Healthcare and other partners have announced a new tool to assist those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Playbook, presented at a news conference April 10 at UAMS’ Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, is designed like a coach’s playbook and includes information and practical tips to help families meet the needs of their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The Playbook, to be offered free of charge to Arkansas families, was inspired by Broyles’ personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease.
“When my wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I didn’t know much about the disease or the impact it would have on our lives; much of what I learned was trial and error,” Broyles said.
Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities.
“Early on I promised myself that one day my family would share with other families dealing with Alzheimer’s all that we had learned from our research and experiences,” Broyles said. “This Playbook was written to give people practical tips on how to help their loved ones. Today we are making this Playbook available to Arkansas families. Someday we would like it to be available nationally.”
To create the Playbook, the Broyles family partnered with UAMS’ Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Beverly Healthcare, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the national Alzheimer’s Association and Caldwell Marketing and Media.
“I’m grateful for the assistance of the wonderful people who helped make this Playbook possible,” Broyles said. “It has been an honor to work with so many people and organizations that are truly dedicated to helping families with Alzheimer’s.”
“Alzheimer’s is always a family affair,” said Cornelia Beck, R.N., Ph.D., director of the Memory Research Center at UAMS. “Developing this Playbook is in keeping with the goals of our Memory Research Center, which seeks to translate research to practical help for caregivers.”
“It has been a privilege to work with university to develop such an amazing tool. Coach Broyles’ vision is inspiring, and we share his dream that someday this Playbook can be available nationally,” said Patrice Acosta, Senior Vice President of Quality of Life for Beverly.
“There are 4.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. In Arkansas alone, there are more than 56,000 people with the disease and that number is expected to increase 36 percent in less than 15 years,” said Barbara Newhouse, Alzheimer’s Association vice president. “The Caregiver’s Playbook is another useful tool providing information to help family and friends care for people with Alzheimer’s.”
Wal-Mart is helping distribute copies of the Playbook by mailing copies to Arkansas families dealing with Alzheimer’s. Arkansas Wal-Mart stores also will have copies available in their pharmacy departments beginning in early May.
Individuals also may obtain a copy of the Playbook by calling 479-313-5079 or sending a letter to the Barbara Broyles Legacy, 826 N. Crossover Road, Suite 1, PMB #104, Fayetteville, AR, 72701.