By TAYLOR HARTZ
The Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter’s main office has moved to Southington. The office, located at 200 Executive Blvd., will become the new hub of Alzheimer’s research, support, and services in the state. The branch will serve all of Connecticut, including the organization’s offices in Hamden, Norwalk, Norwich, and New Milford.
At their official ribbon cutting on Tuesday, April 14, the association displayed their new location, which now provides a drop-in center, a support group room, a research library, a boardroom, and a 24/7 helpline.
“This space really highlights the care and support we offer” said Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh, President and Chief Executive Director of the Connecticut chapter, while giving a tour during their open-house.
In addition to the new “Walk Central” area for organization of the annual “Walk To End Alzheimer’s,” and work-stations for visiting staff and volunteers, the facility offers a new conference room to accommodate their training center.
With room for 30-35 individuals, the training center will provide Carolyn DeRocco, Vice President of Programs and Education, and her team the space to teach professionals and families the skills necessary for caring for those with Alzheimer’s.
This space will also be home to support group meetings, allowing staff members to meet with affected individuals and their family members separately, to offer individual support.
The highlight of the new rooms is the privacy, said DeRocco, who noted that at their previous facility, staff were sometimes forced to hold meetings in the hallways due to lack of space. DeRocco said the extra rooms and added privacy will help accommodate walk-ins, which they always welcome.
Along with privacy, their support rooms offer a cozy, home-like feel. Comfortable chairs circle the room, with dim orange lights illuminating large photo prints of members and their families along the counter.
Their spacious new office has small touches of comfort and community around every corner.
The entrance to the facility is lined with an indoor garden, planted by a community member who is in the early ages of dimension. Just inside, three trees made of silver, gold, and copper leaves decorate the wall of the reception room. Each leaf on the wall holds opportunity for a donation to Alzheimer’s research, as the leaves can be purchased to have a message or dedication engraved upon them.
The Alzheimer’s Association hopes the amenities of the new facility will “provide for the growth” that the organization continues to experience.
According to the association, 73,000 Connecticut residents are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, with an average of 177,000 caregivers providing approximately 200,000 hours of unpaid care each year.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the only diseases in the list of top 10 causes that cannot be prevented, treated or cured. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization providing support and care for those living with the disease. It is the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s research in the U.S., and the third largest in the world.
The staff urges their members and the community to work toward three main goals – “to eliminate the disease through the advancement of care, provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Southington office provides a constant reminder of theses goals, with large purple lettering proudly reading their mission on the center wall of the new facility.