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AFA Teens (Alzheimer’s Foundation of America)

AFA Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness educates and informs teens about Alzheimer’s disease. The program especially targets teen caregivers living in families affected by this disease. AFA Teens is a 2010 recipient of The Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award for the Diverse & Multicultural Communities category.


Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a mission “to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families, through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.”

AFA, budgeted in 2010 at $4 million, currently comprises 1,400+ member organizations nationwide that provide a range of hands-on services. AFA supports individuals and families through caregiver education, crisis counseling by licensed social workers, and respite care grants. AFA also provides technical and financial assistance to local non-profit member organizations to enhance programs and services. Other AFA programs promote professional excellence in dementia care, raise public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, promote early detection, and advocate for sound public policies. AFA places emphasis on promoting quality care and devotes a large part of its resources to educate and support caregivers, both family caregivers, including teens, and professionals.


New York, NY

How does it work?

Recognizing that teens are impacted by the rising incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, AFA Teens educates, engages and supports teens with direct, online education and interaction. Embracing teenagers’ thirst for the Internet, the division’s hallmark since 2003 has been its dedicated Web site (www.afateens.org) which today receives about 35,000 to 45,000 hits each month. The site conveys information about the disease and caregiving tips in the peer-friendly and practical language that teens need while providing teens with several creative outlets for their thoughts and emotions. There is a moderated message board and Facebook page where teens can post observations and concerns and receive advice from AFA social workers, and teens may submit creative contributions, such as poems, essays, videos and scanned artwork, on an ongoing basis.

Why is it successful?

The website receives about 35,000 to 45,000 hits each month. In the short time since AFA began recruiting chapters, 15 groups have signed on five in the last six months alone. Participation in the scholarship essay rose significantly from 2008 to 2009 from 400+ to 1,563 entries.

For more information: www.alzfdn.org