Without Warning Program

Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center

Chicago, IL

Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center (RADC), one of 29 Alzheimer’s disease research centers across the country designated and funded by the National Institute on Aging, supports the Without Warning Program. RADC provides a full spectrum of services in the diagnosis and care of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The organization has a special emphasis in supporting both the patient and the caregivers through the following areas: research; clinical care services; educational outreach to patients, family members and professionals; and the Without Warning (WW) Program. WW is a free, ongoing, multifaceted advocacy program tailored for both the person with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (YOAD) and his or her entire family. For over 7 years, through advocacy and support efforts, WW has helped hundreds of families living with YOAD who live in the Chicago area and beyond. Advocacy efforts include group meetings, presentations, interviews, and public hearings. Website: https://www.rush.edu

Without Warning (WW) is an advocacy, education, and support program. The overarching goal of WW is to provide a voice to all family members living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (YOAD). Frequently overlooked by national advocacy campaigns that focus on older adults with AD, people with YOAD and their families often describe themselves as “voiceless”. Using the resources and support of WW, members seek to raise awareness, develop relationships, and instigate change. WW advocacy efforts occur on a personal level, through support group meetings; within the larger community, through presentations and interviews; and nationally, through policy hearings. WW members state that engaging in advocacy efforts increases their sense of purpose and connectedness while decreasing stress and depression. In the greater community, advocacy efforts by WW members have effected change among the Social Security Administration, state and federal representatives, healthcare professionals, clergy, youth, and the general public.