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New director of Westside's regional Alzheimer's Association office

      
Jody Barker, director of the Central Colorado chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
Courtesy of Alzheimer's Association
Jody Barker is pleased at recently being named the Central Colorado director of the Alzheimer's Association, but he asked that any news article emphasize the national nonprofit agency's helpline.
       That 24/7 phone number is 800-272-3900, and is “manned by clinicians,” Barker said.
       The idea is for people dealing with the brain-attacking disease - either as victims or caregivers - to “get the resources they need,” he elaborated.
       Founded in 1980 and relying heavily on donations, the Alzheimer's Association has its headquarters in Chicago, Ill. The Colorado chapter's website is alz.org/co.
       For the past 13 years, the Westside has had its own Alzheimer's Association facility. The Central Colorado regional office operates within a small, one-story building at 2315 Bott Ave.
       The office is manned by Barker and his two staff members, with help from volunteers. The phone is 266-8773. An upcoming regional fundraiser is the Walk to End Alzheimer's, Sept. 16 in America the Beautiful Park.
       The new director has a background in communications and journalism and served the past three years as director of the Senior Center in Colorado Springs. He has also been appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to the Colorado Commission on Aging.
       Barker succeeds Barbara Caudle, who retired this year after 20 years with the association.
      
The Central Colorado regional office of the Alzheimer's Association is in this building at 2315 Bott Ave.
Westside Pioneer photo
The most prevalent type of dementia, currently without a cure, Alzheimer's affects more than 5 million Americans, according to the association website, and is the nation's sixth leading cause of death.
       Barker has seen it in members of his extended family. “It hits home when it's someone you've known all your life,” he said. “It's heartbreaking.”
       On the upbeat side, medical progress is being made. Barker said that 2025 is the “goal for a breakthrough.”
       In the Bott office, at no charge, people can ask questions, receive referrals, attend classes, browse through a research library and learn about support groups or training for Alzheimer's caregivers. However, no medical staff is on duty there.
       The three staffers in the Bott office are the same as when the region consisted of four counties. But with the name change to “Central Colorado,” the region now handles seven. Cheyenne, Kit Carson and Lincoln (representing an area extending to Kansas) were added to El Paso, Teller, Park and Elbert.
       Fortunately for the Bott office, this geographical expansion has not resulted in an exponential increase in service requests. Barker believes that's largely because increasing amounts of data can be found on the Internet, so more people are looking up information for themselves.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/25/17; Community: Charitable)

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