KIM Q&A Series

Know Your Options!

Providing care to someone with Dementia is challenging and frequently an all-consuming endeavor. This 24-7 responsibility leaves little time to research all the service options available. However, it takes a “team” to deliver quality Dementia care.

Keep In Mind, Inc. is dedicated to supporting caregivers. Therefore, through KIM Q&A; we’ll introduce you to a variety of service options and providers. Each Q&A will give care partners a brief summary of a variety of organizations and service-options available. The more you KNOW the more support you can have during the care journey.

We’ll interview service providers and share their responses with readers in a clear and concise manner.



Dementia Q&A with Nasco; Senior Activities 

Wendy Lucht, Director of Sales & Marketing answers 5 KIM Questions


Fast & Friendly, the smart shoppers choice for 70 years!

Fast & Friendly, the smart shoppers choice for 70 years!

 1. KIM: NASCO began when an Agriculture teacher identified a gap in the available ‘tools’ for classrooms and has evolved into a ‘go-to’ resource for those of us seeking Activity ideas and aides for Seniors and those with Dementia. Can you share more details with our readers about the growth from Agriculture to the broad scope of educational resources you offer today?

 N: Nasco was started in 1941 by a vocational agricultural teacher,Norman Eckley. He developed several teaching aids to use in his vocational agriculture classes…teaching aids that were not readily available from any other source. This simple act of filling a classroom need with an appropriate product was to become a way of life for Nasco in years to come. Nasco currently has over 21 different catalogs offering over 96,000 unique items to meet the needs of teachers in 14 different educational subject areas, farmers and ranchers, activity directors, health care training and simulation and industry.  In addition to serving customers in all 50 states, Nasco’s unique blend of products for education, health care, agriculture, and industry appeals to customers in over 180 countries. Our mission is to provide customers with the best in quality, personal service, and affordably priced products. Nasco’s mail-order catalogs offer a convenient, inexpensive way for individuals in education, health care, agriculture, and industry to shop for the items they need.

2. KIM: In your opinion, who are the primary consumers that order from the Senior Activity catalog? Do you know that balance/percentage between Activity professionals vs. family care partners?

N: Nasco’s Senior Activities catalog primarily receives orders from activity professional working in nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, hospitals, rehab centers, VA’s , senior centers and adult day care facilities, but we also have individuals ordering items for a family member.

3. KIM: Can you share the top three selling items that are designed for those with Dementia?

N: The top three selling products (by sales volume) designed for individuals with dementia are:

 1) LauriR Lacing Shapes  (part # SB00841C)  2) Plumber’s Puzzle (part # 9718466C)  3) Original Activity Pillow (part # 9712388C)

4. KIM: Do the Senior Activities featured in the catalog change regularly? What is the NASCO process for introducing new items and conversely, do you ever discontinue product?

N: A new Senior Activities catalog is printed and distributed in February of each year. On the average, 200 new products are added to the catalog each year. Additional new products are also placed on Nasco’s website throughout the year after the printed catalog has been mailed. A Nasco committee looks at many potential new products each year, selecting those which are appropriate to the needs of seniors and activity directors. Products can be discontinued from the catalog at any time by the company we purchase them from when that product is no longer being produced. Products can also be discontinued from the catalog by Nasco at the end of the year of the catalog if that product is not selling well.

5. KIM: With 10,000 baby boomers a day turning 65 until the year 2029, does this impact or change your method for selecting catalog items? Do you anticipate this next generation engaging differently than their parents of today?

N: Yes, the impact of baby boomers turning 65 affects our selection of catalog products. In recent catalogs, we have been adding more products which promote exercise and fitness, products which relate to the 1950’s, 60’s and even ‘70’s. This includes memory/brain fitness products. We see this next generation as having a wider variety of interests in their activity pursuits. They want to continue to learn more skills such as using the computer and other devices or learning about a particular subject, which “Science for Seniors” promotes. Boomers also want to stay connected with their community, 

Thank You! Wendy Lucht, Sales & Marketing Director for Senior Activities & Special Education for NASCO


Alzheimer’s Foundation of America – CEO Charles Fuschillo

Dementia Q&A with Charles Fuschillo, President & CEO,

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.


Charles Fuschillo, CEO of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA)

Charles Fuschillo, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)

 1. KIM – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) was originally founded by a consortium of organizations to fill a  quality of care and service gap at the national level. Can you share more details with the readers about the evolution of your  organization from its inception to present day?

 CF – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is a national non-profit organization that, today, unites more than 1,700  member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia,  and to their caregivers and families.

AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line staffed by licensed social workers, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine  for caregivers, and professional training.

In addition, AFA hosts educational conferences and telephone-based support groups and makes policy recommendations at the national level.

2. KIM – Although there are 15+ million family caregivers in the U.S.; supportive services and resources are not readily available to them on a national level. Historically, the primary fundraising focus has been on research. The AFA makes it a point to recognize caregiving needs. (Thank You!) Please share the top 3 initiatives your organization has either developed or features, that directly impacts and supports Dementia care partners.

CF –National Memory Screening Day – this initiative, which takes place each November, during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, is designed to educate people about memory concerns and early detection.Each year, on National Memory Screening Day, thousands of sites across the country offer free, confidential memory screenings that are administered by qualified health care professionals. While the results of the screening are not a diagnosis, they can signal whether someone should see their physician for a more thorough evaluation.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can afford an individual an opportunity to participate in clinical trials as well as take part in long-term care and financial planning, which can alleviate some of the burden on the caregiver down the line.

  1. Grants for Caregiver relief – each year, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America awards tens of thousands of dollars in grant monies to its member organizations specifically for the purpose of providing respite care.Respite care includes services such as adult day programs, which help caregivers by giving them a time-out from their caregiving duties, during which they can attend a support group, read a book, work or spend time with friends. Studies have shown that such time-outs can help delay costly nursing home placement.
  2. Support Groups – support groups can be invaluable to caregivers. They offer a forum in which caregivers can learn coping strategies and techniques, vent frustrations and interact with others in similar situations who “get it.”

AFA offers a variety of virtual support groups—by telephone and sometimes Skype—allowing caregivers to call in from the privacy of their own home or office. These sessions are facilitated by AFA’s licensed social workers.

AFA has facilitated support groups for spousal caregivers, including a group for people who care for someone with young-onset Alzheimer’s; a grief support group; a group specific to teen caregivers; and one for adult children whose parents have Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few.

And for professional caregivers… Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA) – recognizing a critical need for dementia-specific training in healthcare professionals, AFA formed its Dementia Care Professionals of America division in 2004.

DCPA seeks to raise the bar on dementia care in the U.S. by providing practical training to healthcare professionals, keeping professionals abreast of emerging breakthroughs in treatment and care, setting standards of excellence through AFA’s rigorous qualification program, and offering networking and advocacy opportunities.

3. KIM – Mr. Fuschillo, you became the organizations new CEO in January 2014 after serving 16 years as a State Senator from the 8th district of Long Island, NY; share with the readers how your political service can/may benefit the AFA’s long term goals and organizational growth.

CF – My legislative background complements The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has long-standing advocacy for funding needed to combat this disease, which currently affects more than 5 million Americans. Among AFA’s advocacy efforts, the Foundation contributed recommendations to the historic National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s disease and continues to work with federal leaders to achieve the goals of the National Plan, including:

    • Provide a unified primary care core curriculum to rectify an untrained dementia workforce
    • Educate and support families upon diagnosis
    • Create models of hospital safety
    • Provide access to long-term care services for younger people, including individuals with Down syndrome
    • Monitor, report and reduce inappropriate use of anti-psychotic drugs

Among my immediate goals are to increase awareness of AFA and its mission and to expand AFA’s member base to provide services and supports to an even greater number of people.

4. KIM – Another noticeable difference between the AFA and other national Alzheimer’s/Dementia groups – is your commitment to young caregivers. Explain the AFA Teen initiative.

CF – As the number of individuals with dementia continues to grow, we are increasingly seeing teens and college students thrust into the role of caregiver. Those years can be challenging for anyone, and are made more so by the added responsibilities caregiving brings.

Our Young Leaders of AFA program was founded by a teenager in 2002, then called AFA Teens, to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease nationwide and engage teens in the cause. The program gives high school and college students an opportunity to form chapters and advocate and educate their peers.

We offer a dedicated website:, as well as Facebook and Twitter communities.

Each year, AFA awards college scholarships via a competitive essay competition, to high school seniors. Their stories truly tug at the heartstrings. You can read them here:

We are also working on a larger, college campus program—The Raise Your Voice for Care tour—and will be revealing details on that in the coming months.

5. KIM – Would you agree that the breast cancer advocates have found a way to raise awareness for their cause in remarkable ways? In your opinion, what do Dementia advocates and organizations like the AFA need to do to shape the conversation and similarly raise awareness while squashing the social stigma currently attached to Dementia?

CF – As with heart disease and cancer in the past, we have to move Alzheimer’s disease to the forefront of the conversation, educating people on prevention, early detection and more. Our nation has made great strides toward this in recent years, but much more needs to be done.

It is only through education and awareness that we can hope to banish the stigma and fear associated with this disease.

THANK YOU!   Charles Fuschillo, CEO, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America! (AFA)

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