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      Online support for Alzheimers caregivers

      For people overwhelmed by Alzheimers, and their caregivers, there are new online support services.

      The Alzheimers Association is going online to reach people who need help, but who cannot take advantage of in-person support, often because they're tied down taking care of someone with the disease.

      ALZConnected works much like Facebook, says Cathy James, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association Central New York Chapter. It's free, and lets members chat or ask questions about specific issues they're facing.

      Alzheimer's Navigator is another new online tool. Users complete a set of focused questions on specific concerns, and help the user---either a patient or caregiver---with appropriate actions. For example, dealing with driving, or looking for community programs or services. James says it's designed to keep a record of needs, and also to help long-distance caregivers get more quickly involved.

      Alzheimer's affects nearly 320,000 people in New York, with another 1-million taking care of them. For more information, www.alz.org/cny There is also a 24x7 helpline at 800 272-3900