Join Us in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Join the Access Reverse Mortgage Team in a movement to reclaim the future for millions in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!

Join our team for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Together, we can advance research to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, and provide programs and support to improve the lives of millions of affected Americans.

Our Company is so passionate about this cause, we pledge to MATCH ALL funds raised by our Walk Team up to $2500!

Help us reach our goal and fight to END Alzheimer’s!

You can join our team, or make a donation that we’ll match by visiting our team page!

Thank you for your support!

http://act.alz.org/site/TR?team_id=298268&fr_id=7400&pg=team

Access Reverse Mortgage Promoting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on the Radio:

Great show today here, going to be talking with our expert contributor, Malcolm Tennant, here in just a moment. He is the co-owner of Access Reverse Mortgages. So we’ll be talking the first segment about reverse mortgages, and how you can use a reverse mortgage for purchase, and other need-to-know information, and dispelling some of the common myths associated with reverse mortgages.

And then the rest of the show we’ll be talking about Alzheimer’s research and the walk that’s coming up, the End Alzheimer’s, with Craig Mayers. He is the development fund raising manager for the Alzheimer’s Association. So he is going to join us on the second segment and then talk with us throughout the rest of the show about the Alzheimer’s Association.

But first, let’s talk with Malcolm Tennant. Access Reverse Mortgage is a family-owned company based right here in the Tampa Bay area for the past 10 years. They are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and Florida’s leading reverse mortgage provider. For homeowners aged 62 or older, a reverse mortgage from Access Reverse Mortgage is a safe economical way to turn your home’s equity into cash or monthly income. Malcolm, welcome to the show today.

Malcolm: Thanks Jamie. It’s great to be here.

Jamie: Absolutely. So Malcolm, first of all, let’s talk to the people about what Access Reverse Mortgage is and why people should be looking into a reverse mortgage.

Malcolm: Sure. We got involved in the reverse mortgage industry. This is our 11th year based over in St. Petersburg on Tyrone Boulevard. We are a family company. My wife, myself, two of my sons all work there. We have loan officers around the state, they’re not all my sons, but we do have other employees also in St. Pete.

We found that the reverse mortgage, two things that people that research them invariably love them and think they’re a great product. Not everybody gets one but very much in favor of them.

The other thing is that there is a general undertone of negativity towards reverse mortgages that it’s some kind of rescue tool that maybe you’re in financial difficulty if you have to get one. That’s just not the case. So we’re very much on a mission to educate people that they would understand that reverse mortgage is not good, it’s not evil, it’s just a financial planning tool but not a rescue device at all. It’s just not how they work.

They are for baby boomers and anybody where one spouse is aged 62 to give some financial help in retirement.

Jamie: There’s a common myth out there that the government can take your home if you have a reverse mortgage. Dispel some of those myths associated with reverse mortgages.

Malcolm: Sure. Sure. That is the most common misconception. People believe there is some kind of transfer of ownership with reverse mortgage, and it’s just not the case. A reverse mortgage is just a mortgage. It’s just like if you went to the bank and got a home equity line of credit, no different. The bank doesn’t own your house there, and they don’t with reverse mortgage. So that’s definitely the biggest issue.

Jamie: And one of the issues that can come up is if somebody doesn’t make the insurance payments or the property taxes, I mean that a person who has a reverse mortgage, they’re responsible for that, so if they’re negligent in paying those costs, then they can lose the home. And I think that’s probably where some of those myths come in for people that have made that mistake, would you not agree?

Malcolm: Yeah, absolutely. We went through a pretty historic time in the last 10 years with the real estate crash and values cutting in half, and that created a lot of misunderstanding of, under normal circumstances, the way these things would work. You’d go borrow money, use the house as collateral, just like with any other mortgage. You get a statement in the mail each month, just like with a regular mortgage. It tells you how much interest was charged the previous month. It tells you how much you owe. So that goes on for your lifetime. That’s the typical scenario. And then you don’t have to stay there for life. Some people would sell in five years or whatever.

But the idea, what FHA has in mind when they set this up, the projection is that your house is going to go up a little bit in value each year as well, so there should be pretty much some offset there that the equity in the house probably shouldn’t change too throughout your lifetime. You’ve got interest being added, but you’ve got increasing value, so under normal circumstances, that’s the case.

The nice thing is when we had this crash six years ago, I guess you call it now, people who had to reverse mortgages very often owed more now than what their house is worth, because of the big drop in value. If they’d had a regular mortgage, they’d be on the hook for that personally. With a reverse mortgage, they’re not. FHA steps in and pays a short fall.

Jamie: They insure a lender in the same way they do with an FHA mortgage for the first time buyer, so it’s a government-insured product which protects the lenders. A lot of people are not aware of that, right?

Malcolm: Absolutely. FHA makes it a non-recourse loan, and that’s important for two reasons. One, it ensures to the lender that there is no personal liability there, that you can’t leave a mess for your heirs. You can’t. If the house is underwater, FHA is going to step in and pay for it.

The other thing, though, is they guarantee to the investors who buy these loans, the big insurance companies and pension funds, that the collateral is going to be worth enough at the end to cover what’s due. So the investors are very well protected, so they’re willing to invest money at extremely low interest rates.

Jamie: Talk about the current lending environment. You were telling me here before the show about a consumer that you had talked with that said, “I’m thinking about three years maybe to step into a reverse mortgage.” Talk to me about this example that you shared with me.

Malcolm: Sure. I’ve seen many people over the last 10 years go through that kind of analysis and say, “Well, we don’t really need the money now, so we’ll wait, and we’ll do it in three years or five years when we need the money.” And I’ve generally said yeah, that’s a good strategy, but I’ve changed my thinking on that for two reasons. One, over the 10 years I’ve been doing this, every few years FHA has made the deal a little bit worse where you get a little bit less money. It’s just a percentage.

The other thing is the formula to determine how much you can borrow is based on two things. One, the age of the youngest borrower. The older you are, the more you can get, because you’re going to have the money for less time. But the second thing is interest rates. The lower the interest rate, the more you can borrow. And also, for the same reason, they’re looking at how much interest is likely to accumulate over your lifetime.

So the interest rates have been so low for the last six years, that they have not been a factor in that formula, but we’re right on the cost right now. We’re right at a point if rates go up even a little bit, they’re going to start to impact the amount you can borrow, and the impact is really dramatic. I did an analysis for somebody yesterday who called me actually and said, “We’re going to wait two years to do this. That’s when we’ll need the money.” Well, I pointed out to them that if they come back in two years, and rates have gone up 3%, is the example I looked at.

Today they’re eligible to borrow 55% of home value. So on a $300,000 house today, they can borrow about $165,000. If they wait a couple of years or when they come back and rates have gone up 3%, they’re only eligible to borrow $100,000.

Jamie: So what they think they’re gaining over time, they’re losing in the lost purchasing power then, correct? Through the raising interest rates.

Malcolm: I pointed out to him that if they set it up now, they’re going to have some closing costs, but they don’t have to pay them. For the most part, they’re financed out of pockets, very low on these. So they’re going to owe just closing costs that they set this line of credit up now, and they don’t use it. So the cost to carry, the interest cost accumulating, is only about $15 a month on those closing costs, so a very minimal cost to have this. They’re not paying that even. It’s just being added to what they owe.

So for $15 a month, they can put in place $165,000 line of credit, and that’s locked in. Once they get it, it’s locked in. So the other thing is they increase that line of credit each year. If you don’t use it, they increase it by the cost of money. Currently, the cost of money is about 4%, so that $165,000 would become…that’s some heavy math for this morning.

Jamie: No, that’s fine. No, that’s fine.

Malcolm: We’ve got the $170,000 next year, $175,000 the next year approximately.

Jamie: Got to take a quick break, but coming back from the break, I want to talk about one more program, the reverse mortgage for purchase program. Now, people can use there in their existing home and the reverse mortgage to step up and purchase a new home. We’ve got to take a quick break, but we’re going to talk a bit more with Malcolm Tennant coming back from the break. And then also Craig Mayers, development fundraising manager with the Alzheimer’s Association. You’re currently listening to That Business Show with Jamie Meloni where business becomes show business.

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Man 1: You’re listening to That Business Show with Jamie Meloni on 1250 WHNZ, W-H-N-Z. Once again, here is your host, Jamie Meloni.

Jamie: Welcome back to That Business Show with Jamie Meloni where business becomes show business. Again, each and every weekday morning 8 a.m. here on 1250 WHNZ and learn more about the show over at tampabayradio.com.

I currently talk with our expert contributor to That Business Show, Malcolm Tennant of Access Reverse Mortgage. Learn more about them at the website, accessreversemortgage.com.

And Malcolm, heading into the break, I wanted to talk about reverse mortgage for purchase, how people can use reverse mortgages to purchase new homes. So explain this to the audience.

Malcolm: Sure. A reverse mortgage for purchase works just like any other reverse mortgage or like any other mortgage you would get when you buy a house. So, say, you’ve got $200,000 and you want to buy a home for retirement with no mortgage payment. So you can buy $200,000 house or you could use a reverse mortgage with it and get approximately another $200,000 or $225,000 and buy a $400,000 or a $425,000 house. So now, you’ve got a house you can live in the rest of your life, no mortgage payment on it.

You could make a payment if you want, but most people don’t. So you’re able to buy much more house, or the alternative, you could conserve some cash. Say, you want to keep some cash back for emergencies or whatever, you could buy still the $200,000 house and keep the $100,000 for your own use, use a reverse mortgage to buy the house. So you’re really just buying a house with a mortgage, but it’s a reverse mortgage, and you’re putting up a bigger than normal down payment.

Jamie: So obviously, it’s a resource for purchasing homes. A lot of people including myself before I met you didn’t even know that was a resource out there. So again, for seniors aged 62 years old and older definitely need to reach out to Malcolm Tennant and get some more information.

Malcolm, some great discussion points today in which we talk a little more about this, but we’ve got to get over to Craig Mayers. So people can learn more about you and your company over at accessreversemortgage.com.

Malcolm: I just want to mention also we’re having a seminar. It’s part of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors education series at their offices on Kennedy on July the 17th, at 10:00 in the morning. So it’s at the GTAR offices on Kennedy on July 17 at 10:00 in the morning.

It is for realtors, but it’s good information for everybody. Normally, there is a fee to attend these realtor sessions. We’re going to open that up to the public, and we’ll pay the fee to GTAR. If anybody wants to join us, just call our office at 727-347-0305, and we’d be happy to register you for the seminar.

Jamie: Good, and we’ll get that up on the show recap as well over at tampabayradio.com. Malcolm, great information as always. Thank you very much.

Malcolm: Thanks Jamie.

Jamie: Time to bring on my next guest here for the show. Craig Mayers is the development fundraising manager for the Alzheimer’s Association. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research and provide an enhanced care and support for all those that are affected. Craig, welcome to the show today.

Craig: Thank you for having me on, Jamie. Great to be here.

Jamie: Absolutely, so first of all, tell us a little bit about the Alzheimer’s Association and what they do.

Craig: Well, the Alzheimer’s Association is a national association of chapters. We are the Florida Gulf Coast chapter. We cover 17 counties in the Florida Gulf Coast area, as far north as the villages in Sumter County, and we go extend down as far south as Naples and across to Polk, Hendry, Highlands, and Glades counties, and everything in between. So overall we have 17 counties as of 2015 over 175,000 estimated cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

Our chapter and our association strives to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease but also to help those currently impacted as the caregivers, the individuals themselves. We focus not only on Alzheimer’s disease but dementias. There are over a hundred different kinds of dementias. Alzheimer’s is just the most common and the most pernicious.

Jamie: I was going to say there is a link, not a link, but some people confuse dementia with Alzheimer’s, right? I don’t know if you’re able to speak on that, but if you want to give some talking points about that.

Craig: Yes, Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, like I said, most common and the most pernicious. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, dementia is usually used as a blanket term. Alzheimer’s disease is more specific. But of course, with any type of cognitive impairment official diagnosis, it’s tough to diagnose, because there’s not necessarily a blood test or a certain type of, any type of medical evaluation that can give you concrete evidence that yes, you have Alzheimer’s disease.

However, for certain biopsies of the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, there has been shown that there are tangles of dead neurons, unfortunately. But in some other patients, they have the same type of neurological tangle in their brain, but they’re not afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. But you see, it’s a very gray area. We’re talking about the brain ironically.

Jamie: Right. Now, what was your inspiration to get involved with the Alzheimer’s Association? You’re obviously a young guy. So tell me about your inspiration getting involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Craig: Well, I fundraised in high school. Ever since I was 16, I did it as a volunteer. I did in college, part-time in college, and then found I wanted it to be my career path. And I love this area. I’m from Sarasota originally, and I love this area of the state. And I came back and decided to live here.

And this disease impacts this area so much. Out of the top 20 cities in the United States with the highest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, our chapter, our 17 counties, contains 8 of those top 20 with Venice coming in at number 2 for the highest incidence. So it’s a problem that not only is it affecting our nation in so many ways and ruining a lot of lives, but it really hits home to where I’m from, and it’s tough to ignore those facts, and it got me passionate about it.

Jamie: Now, you’re the fundraising manager, and you do a number of different events throughout the year. I know you’ve got a big one that comes up. I think it’s in October 31, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, is that correct?

Craig: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Jamie: So talk about that and some of the different events that you do to raise money for this.

Craig: Yes, our Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and before we get into the events, I wanted to just…about our chapter in specifics. We believe that the percentage of the cent on the dollar that we raise donated to our programs and services and research is very important. And we’re very proud that we’re able to provide such a high rate.

Seventy eight cents on every dollar that we raise is donated to programs, care, and support, and research for Alzheimer’s disease as well as awareness raising and advocacy efforts. We are a four-star-rated charity on Charity Navigator, $0.78 on the dollar. The industry standards are $0.70 the last time I checked with the Precious [SP] Giving Association.

And then about the events, our Tampa Walk to End Alzheimer’s is coming up on October 31 at Amalie Arena. We generally run our walks from 9 a.m. to noon. We have one in Pinellas County coming up October 24 at Bright House Field, once again, 9 a.m. to noon. And for our South Shore area covering the South Hillsborough County area, we have a walk in Sun City Center on October 17.

Jamie: How do people get involved with these? Can people just go and donate there or people can also just get involved in the walk? Talk to me about how people that are just finding about the association now get involved with the association.

Craig: Great question. Please visit our websites act.alz.org, and then there is a forward slash, and you can type in Tampa, Pinellas, or South Shore area for the Tampa area ones. If you’re in Sarasota, you type in the Sarasota after that forward slash, and it takes you directly to the walk website. Or if you go on to act.alz.org, you can type into the Walk to End Alzheimer’s button your zip code and find out the walk nearest you.

And if you want to reach out to me for any of the meetings that I have in the local area, please feel free to call me at 727-710-4976. Our committees are informal, and they are a lot of fun, and they’re great way to volunteer and network with professionals in healthcare and also some independent advocates that are really inspirational.

Jamie: So you have the fund raising events, but you also have meetings, you have like support groups and things like that?

Craig: Yes.

Jamie: Just talk to me about this.

Craig: Yes, you can contact me about support groups as well. The committee meetings actually help me plan the events and raise the funds, but the support groups are phenomenal, and they’re one of the plethora of programs we have. We have programs and services. And the support groups range from specificity of the basics of Alzheimer’s disease to early onset Alzheimer’s disease. We have a working caregiver support group.

We really have a lot of different options at different times and areas for Pinellas, Hillsborough, and all of our counties, so please reach out to our chapter. Our office number is 727-578-2558, and we always are happy to give out calls and information.

Jamie: What’s some of the events that are coming up here in the near future? We mentioned obviously the walk, but that’s not until October 31 being held at the Amalie Arena. But what are some things coming up in the near future?

Craig: Yes, for the city of Tampa, on September 3, we will have a kickoff for the Carrollwood area, North Tampa area at the Carrollwood GrillSmith on September 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. We’ll also be having one for the South Tampa area at The Soho Backyard on September 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. And then as far as Pinellas goes, we’re having our kickoff on August 14 at Bright House Field during one of the Clearwater Threshers baseball games. So those are a few things coming up in the near area.

In studio, currently talking with Craig Mayers, development fundraising manager for the Alzheimer’s Association. And also in studio with me, expert contributor, Malcolm Tennant of Access Reverse Mortgage. He was on with us during that first segment talking about reverse mortgages. Learn more about him and reverse mortgages over at accessreversemortgage.com.

But I want to bring Malcolm back into the discussion, because he’s had a personal affliction with the Alzheimer’s disease himself. So Malcolm, I’ll let you go ahead and share your story and how you got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Malcolm: Just to clarify, I haven’t been personally afflicted, as far as I know.

Jamie: Connected.

Malcolm: Connected.

Jamie: Not personally, but through your family. So yes, I understand what you’re saying.

Malcolm: Thanks, Jamie. Anyway, both my mother and my father-in-law had Alzheimer’s. They’re both passed now. So it is a tremendously devastating disease. Last night I was at the Publix at Bardmoor and came in through the back parking lot, and there was a woman, an elderly woman making her way across the parking lot. I saw her walking maybe 50 yards or so, didn’t really know where she was coming from.

Anyway, she came up, and she was shaking. It was so hot, and I said, “Can I help you?” And she said, “I can’t find my car.” And she was almost in tears. We walked up to the front parking lot of Publix. I said, “Will you go wait inside, and I’ll go find your car?” And as we got to the front door of Publix, a woman came walking out, maybe in her 30s and obviously happy to see her. I think maybe it was her daughter.

And then right after that, a man came out probably in his 30s also and was just pretty much almost abusive with her saying, “You were told to wait in the car,” and very upset. And it just reminded me of…I really felt for the lady obviously, but for the man and the wife, too, because I assume they were the caregivers, and I know what my father went through trying to take care of my mother. And eventually his heart gave out, and he passed away, and then there was no way to help my mother, so we ended up hiring a lot of people to watch her.

It is such a devastating thing for the caregivers, too. I think they’re so at risk. And the association, that’s why I got involved with the association, is they provide support to caregivers, and that’s so important. Anybody that is out there that is involved with taking care of somebody with Alzheimer’s just take care of your own health, because if you’re gone, then it worsens the problem.

Jamie: Craig, if you want to add to that. You have a number of support groups, but talk about the support groups that you have for the caregivers out there.

Craig: As I said earlier, we have a wide range of support groups that they can attend. But one really useful program that we pioneered here in the Florida Gulf Coast chapter is our Emergency Respite Care program. And that you have to apply for, but most caregivers financially qualify because of the financial stress that care giving in Alzheimer’s disease can put on a family. So we are able to negotiate pretty reduced rates with some of our providers in home health and assisted living communities, etc., and we’re able to use funds that we raise to pay for caregivers to have a respite.

It’s not something we’re able to do for months on end, but we can do it for a decent amount of time to help out, to do what we can, and to provide that care that is so expensive. And that’s one thing. And getting back to the story that Mac told, and Mac is a phenomenal committee member of the Pinellas Walk Committee, and we really appreciate his involvement.

That story is so telling, because so many caregivers firmly believe they don’t know how to communicate with a loved one. And that’s one of the programs in caregiver trainings that we do. We actually do quite a few throughout the Tampa Bay area at assisted living communities. Please visit our website for more information on that. That’s alz.org/flgulfcoast. There is quite a few different trainings that tell you how to communicate effectively with somebody with Alzheimer’s, and how to care give, and do as best as you can. There is quite a few different topics that we can cover and help out with.

Malcolm: So you’re saying that somebody has Alzheimer’s, if the caregiver needs a break, you can take their loved one, the patient, and put them in the ALF for a short time?

Craig: Assisted living community. We can do that or with our home health partner. And really there are a lot of different providers. We can negotiate the contracts individually with the individual companies. It’s not something that we’re able to get done in 12 hours or less or 20 or on a short notice, but if they fill out the paperwork in the application program, we do get them through. It’s a program that I think people don’t know about enough, and it’s definitely something that we want people to use, because we do fund it. And it’s a great way to help people, and not enough people know about it, I think.

Malcolm: That’s tremendous. We’ve done a number of reverse mortgages for people where the one spouse is still living at home, and the other has gone into an ALF, and it’s expensive. It really can be.

Craig: Truly is. And that’s part of the problem with Alzheimer’s disease, that it is so expensive. I think last year, in 2014, one in five out of the Medicare dollars spent were spent taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia or citizens with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Jamie: We talked when you first came out. There is no test for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are warning signs. So let’s go through that. Take us through these 10 warning signs if you would.

Craig: Yes, the 10 warning signs, and a great way to look at memory loss that is in pattern with Alzheimer’s disease is to get a memory screening from the Alzheimer’s Association. So if you call our main office, 727-578-2558, and ask for a memory screening, they’ll direct you to the program specialist who can give you one in the county area that you serve.

Jamie: What’s that number again?

Craig: It’s 727-578-2558. We do memory screenings and care consults regardless of age and regardless of your type of dementia. We’re just here to help. The memory screenings are not necessarily…it’s not a test that is that once again a sure fire telltale sign.

Jamie: But it’s a lead-on.

Craig: It’s an evaluation that can give you your chances and risk factors, and that’s really important. But getting back to the 10 warning signs, the first one is memory loss that disrupts daily life. This is really telling, because it’s forgetting things that are extremely important, such as forgetting your sister’s wedding day or something that you’ve known on, and family members, for instance, it’s not recognizing them.

Jamie: Can we use that when we forget our wedding anniversaries or things like that? Can we use that as an excuse?

Craig: I don’t know if that’s a viable excuse, but hey, I think it might raise some awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. So if that’s what you need to do…

Jamie: No, I understand. Go ahead.

Craig: Not always. The second one would be challenges in planning or solving problems. This has to do with trouble following a familiar recipe that you used to make or that your mother used to make or that you’ve made forever or grandmother on etc., grandfather, etc., and also keeping track of monthly bills and paycheck or in balancing your budget or your checkbook. I think that’s another telltale sign of memory loss and a warning sign for Alzheimer’s disease.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure is the third. So people with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete these daily tasks. Driving to a familiar location, for example, or remembering the rules to a favorite game.

Jamie: What age do people typically begin to exhibit symptoms? Is there an age of which it’s definitely not affecting you? But when do we see that this is a viable disease that you have?

Craig: The risk factors are 65 and older is generally the perceived crowd to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or a type of dementia. However, there are quite a few and a growing population of folks with the early onset Alzheimer’s disease. And I think the facts are pretty staggering as far as the number of people that are…it’s increasing every year as far as being diagnosed with early onset. We have a board member whose wife was diagnosed at 52, and Sarah McBride, who is a caregiver, a 20-year old caregiver, in St. Pete; her mother was diagnosed at 50.

Jamie: Wow.

Craig: Dennis Kucinich who is part of our early onset program. He is out in Lakeland. He is part of our early onset Alzheimer’s disease program. He is a phenomenal photographer. He does my Polk photography for the Polk walk every year. He is part of that program. He was diagnosed, I think, in his mid 40s.

And so it’s something that if you start to not be able to retrace your steps and start following these 10 warning signs at an age like 50 or 40, then it’s something to consider, get a memory screening, evaluate your risk factors. But 65 and older is the more common. Every 5 years after 65, your increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia doubles.

Jamie: Is the prevalence of the disease growing at this time versus years ago?

Craig: It’s growing tremendously. In fact, it’s estimated that.

Jamie: Do we know what’s causing that? Is there some leads onto why?

Craig: Oh, because the population is aging. That’s something that’s a big factor. But also, it is the population is growing, and as a population ages, it is a risk factor. But I don’t know if it’s necessary like some silver bullet, but cognitive impairment, that is, it’s something that’s not been diagnosed in the past a lot before, and less than 45% of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, their caregivers aren’t aware of that, and they haven’t been diagnosed. That’s really telling, I think, because you can provide care for somebody properly if you don’t know they’re diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Jamie: But within the researches, there are certain things that certain groups are pointing to, whether it’s, I don’t know, aluminum in the old can, things like that.

Craig: That is a rumor that is…

Jamie: I think I’d heard that. That just popped in my head right there, so maybe that’s associated with this. But what is it? Is there something out there that is causing Alzheimer’s?

Craig: It depends on who you talk to. Every bit of research is different. But aluminum has not been something that we as the association have been informed of or found a very specific link to. I know that for early onset Alzheimer’s disease, if your parents were afflicted with early onset Alzheimer’s disease or if it runs in your family, your risk is increased, but it is not a certainty. So it is not a certainty mark that you’re going to get Alzheimer’s, because your parents had it. It’s not that simple. It’s really complex. And so it’s not good, but it certainly is not a certainty. And that’s something I want to dispel.

As far as the rumor in aluminum, we have not found any link for aluminum, but I know that healthy lifestyle definitely plays an impact into it.

Remaining social, that’s one of the 10 warning signs, too, of Alzheimer’s diseases. It’s people withdrawing from their social engagements and withdrawing from social activities, because they’re experiencing memory loss and cognitive impairment. And I think that’s something that is very important. Try not to do that, because it will increase the rate of your decline.

Jamie: Now, is there genetic markers for Alzheimer’s? As genetic research gets more and more prevalent, and you think down the ride, is there going to be able to get tested genetically for this early on?

Craig: I think there are genetic tests that do exist. I’m not an expert on them, so I’d have to call the office, but I know that there are some genetic markers, and you can get tested for in some ways through a genetic level.

Jamie: Let’s take another quick break. I currently talk with a Craig Mayers. He is the development fundraising manager for the Alzheimer’s Association. Learn more about them, and their organization, and chapter over at alz.org/flgulfcoast. This is the Florida Gulf Coast chapter. It’s a large organization, but again, alz.org/flgulfcoast. Also in studio, Malcolm Tennant of Access Reverse Mortgage. Learn more about him and his company over at accessreversemortgage.com. And you’re currently listening to That Business Show with Jamie Meloni where business becomes show business.

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Currently, in studio with Mac Tennant of Access Reverse Mortgage Corporation and his guest, Craig Mayers. He is the development fundraising manager for the Alzheimer’s Association. Learn more about them and their organization over at alz.org/flgulfcoast for this particular chapter.

Now, Craig, you’ve obviously been impacted by a number of different people within the organization. Share a couple of stories of perseverance just about Alzheimer’s with us if you could.

Craig: Some really phenomenal personal stories that I love. It will tug at your heartstrings. One of them I mentioned earlier was Sarah McBride, who is a 20-year old caregiver with her father for her mother who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 50.

One thing about Alzheimer’s that’s really just disheartening and really detrimental to the family but also makes the disease so financially costly is that people can live for over a decade with Alzheimer’s disease. And in Sarah’s case, her mother is 65 now, living with Alzheimer’s disease. She is in the end stages, and she doesn’t remember Sarah. That cuts through all the mumbo jumbo, all the facts and figures. That’s what’s it gets to. But she is a passionate advocate. She helped us so much with our Reason to Hope luncheon in February in Sarasota. We had our biggest attendance ever. She was our guest speaker, and she did great. It was really incredible.

And I mentioned our board member earlier who has that connection with his wife being early diagnosed. Our board members are so passionate. There are so many great advocates like Ron Wheeler from Assembler Corporation and Alan Silverglat down in Sarasota, phenomenal people.

Another volunteer, in particular, in the Tampa area is Jackie Meeks. Jackie Meeks, she is the best. She is a phenomenal, passionate advocate. She has been a caregiver for over seven years for her mother. She’s been a phenomenal resource for the West Tampa community. We don’t have a Tampa office yet. We are pushing for it with all of our might. But she has been really great to help get some of our resources to communities that we can’t reach primarily, because our territory in the city of Tampa itself and Hillsborough is just so vast. So many people that need help in so many different communities. She’s been incredible.

Jamie: Now, we’ve talked about support groups for the caregivers and the family members. Do you have support groups for people that are actually afflicted with the disease to come in and be…they’re scared, and they’re confused, and they need to get some support early on? Talk to me about this.

Craig: Program specialists could speak more about the specifically tailored programs that we have for those actually afflicted, but I know in the early onset, in the basics of Alzheimer’s disease, basic stages of Alzheimer’s, in some cases, the caregiver and the loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia attend together. But it’s usually early onset Alzheimer’s disease or somebody who’s still relatively in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Those support groups are really incredible. We definitely…

Jamie: Does Alzheimer’s progress differently in different people? Can it be very rapid in some versus very slow in others?

Craig: Yeah, and this is the actually a really good point, because Sarah’s case, I in the past was under the impression that I’ve had early onset patients who have decreased so perceptibly and so quickly, that in two to three years, they passed, but with Sarah…I know that in some cases with early onset, you can progress very quickly.

But with the general Alzheimer’s disease that occurs later in life, I know that the process can be very lengthy. But Alzheimer’s disease definitely does result in a lot of actual fatalities. I think the statistic last year was 700,000 are estimated to die of Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. And so that’s just really telling, because in 2013, there were only 84,000 Americans died from Alzheimer’s disease.

Jamie: Medically speaking, how does the Alzheimer’s eventually kill the patient? Does the brain forget basically how the heart beats or something? Is that what ends up happening of eventually or something?

Craig: Yes, or it’s a contributing factor to a pre-existing condition. There is so much we don’t know about Alzheimer’s disease, because it has to do with your mental faculties and as the brainstem having that ultimate loss of memory.

Jamie: So it starts to forget internal things that we take for granted?

Craig: Normal processes that we do automatically, yes. But that’s very troubling, because it is the sixth leading cause of death in United States, I believe. Out of the top 10 diseases in the United States, it’s the sixth. And it’s the only one out of those top 10 diseases in the United States that has no cure, no treatment program. Aricept is the common drug. It’s prescribed for memory loss, and actually, that drug has been around since the 1980s.

Jamie: I didn’t even know there was a treatment. I was going to ask you if there was some treatment. So there is some type…?

Craig: You haven’t heard about it, because the success rate is not always that phenomenal, and people sometimes who have gone on Aricept…some of the memory loss and Alzheimer’s “medications” out there, folks have gone on them, and they have seen a a more steady decline after if they take a break from those medications.

Jamie: Right.

Craig: Because those medications, to my knowledge, basically function as caffeine for the remaining neurons that you have. They allow them to transmit the signals that go across your brain more efficiently, but there are still only so many neurons, and you’re slowly losing those neurons with Alzheimer’s disease due the amyloid beta protein buildup.

Jamie: Wow. We’ve got about another couple of minutes left here. We’ve got another event that we want to talk about here, the Alzheimer’s Association Fundraiser at the Ballpark, if you want to put this out there to the listeners.

Craig: Definitely, definitely. Mac Tennant has been a steady part of my committee. It’s going to be on August 14. He’s been helping us plan it, and we’re really excited. The Clearwater Threshers will be playing the Tampa Yankees at Brighthouse Field, and we are going to have our own section at the hot corner. It’s going to have all you can drink and eat with respect to soft drinks, bottled water, hamburgers, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, peanuts, popcorn, all the good ballpark stuff from 5:30 to 8:00.

Our game starts at 6:30, and the tickets are $18 a person. Children under four are free. We have a online ordering option available. If you call our office, once again, 727-578-2558, and ask for Tiffany Kane, she’ll be able to sell those tickets to you. I’ll let you know how to do the online ordering. And Mac, just tell them how excited you are about the other kickoff on August 14.

Malcolm: I can hardly contain myself.

Jamie: Well, everybody, we’ve got to wrap this one up, but some great information today on Alzheimer’s and also the organization, so thanks to Craig for being in the studio today. Craig, thank you very much.

Craig: Thanks for having me, Jamie.

Jamie: And that was a Craig Mayers. He is the development fundraising manager for the Alzheimer’s Association. Learn more about him and his organization over at alz.org/flgulfcoast. Also, thank you to Malcolm Tennant, expert contributor. As always, Malcolm, great show today.

Malcolm: Thanks for having me, Jamie.

Jamie: Absolutely. Learn a little bit more about Malcolm Tennant and reverse mortgages over at their website, accessreversemortgage.com. And if you’re aged 62 years or older, there is a great product for you out there, so don’t let the myths out there scare you away from that. Again, accessreversemortgage.com. Well, everybody I’ll see you back in here tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. for Working Women Wednesdays, and you’ve been listening to That Business Show with Jamie Meloni where business becomes show business.

Thanks for reading more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!

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