Autumn 2018 E-Newsletter

Autumn 2018 UCLA Alzheimer's Research Center Newsletter

| Why I Donate | How to Choose an In-Home Care Provider |
| Thank You for Making a Difference | Clinical Trials | Caregiver Support Groups |

The Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at UCLA has very active teams working on basic research, drug discovery, biomarkers for early diagnosis and clinical activity including clinical trials, cognitive testing, and patient care. [PDF Version]

Why I Donate?

"An Interview with Beth Devermont – Sam and Ida Turken Charitable Foundation."

"This article is a continuous series entitled "Why I Participate," which will focus on involvement in our research and programs through clinical trials, support groups, and donations."

Interviewed by: Monica Moore, M.S.G.

Phyllis Shamberg and Beth Devermont

1. Why do you donate to UCLA? What was the original connection? Tell us a little bit about your family’s interest in this field.

The Sam and Ida Turken Charitable Foundation was set up in the 1980’s by my grandfather and his three brothers. The original idea was to enable college-age students to get an education that would allow them to pursue their dreams and have a good life. My grandfather and each of his brothers chose one of their children to direct a quarter of the distributable funds each year. My grandfather gave that privilege to my mother, who had a larger vision for how this money would benefit others and decided to give this money to a young, early career Alzheimer’s researcher. She chose Alzheimer’s because my grandmother was afraid she had the disease and so it was a way for my mother to honor her. By giving money this way, it has allowed us to see exactly how the money is being used and to have a personal connection to the recipients and to the Easton Center.

2. How did your relationship with the Easton Center and Alzheimer’s Los Angeles begin?

My mother reached out to Peter Braun, the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association at that time, regarding her interest in setting up a scholarship for Alzheimer’s researchers. With the help of Peter and Dr. Arnold “Arne” Scheibel, the director (1990-1995) of the Brain Research Institute, two scholarships were established: one to UCLA and one to USC. The money was given to the Alzheimer’s Association, which in turn gave the money to UCLA and USC. I believe the first awards were given in 1990. After a short while, the recipients were only from UCLA. Through Peter, we met Dr. Jeffrey Cummings and became associated with the Mary S. Easton Center. When Alzheimer’s Los Angeles made the split from the Alzheimer’s Association, we stayed with them because of our relationship with Susan Galeas and Dr. Debra Cherry.

3. How did your experience with the Easton Center inspire you to support the Center and Alzheimer’s disease research?

It really comes down to personal relationships. Through these relationships and the annual Turken Award Day, we have been able to see the serious and good work our awardees and the others we have known over the years are doing. We want to support them and hope their work will lead to improvements in the lives of Alzheimer’s patients—and to a cure for this disease.

4. You have been supportive of the Easton Center for many years. Are there specific programs or projects in which you believe your gifts have made a particular difference?

We don’t know as much about specific programs as we do about how the use of our money has furthered an individual scientist’s career. It has always been one of our goals to keep promising researchers in the field and to help them move to the next level that will ultimately lead to mitigation of the disease at the least and a cure at best. We do know that one of our researcher’s work is close to a breakthrough and has moved to raising money for human trials and that the result of work done by others, because of their award, earned them much larger grants from the NIH.

Turken Symposium5. Describe Turken Day and how this annual event keeps you connected to the Easton Center.

Turken Day has always been a highlight for us and keeps us connected to the Easton Center and the work being done there. Originally, Turken Day began with Grand Rounds and the presentation of the award to the awardee. That was followed by a laboratory tour or discussion of other interesting work and then a luncheon in honor of the awardee where we would have a chance to learn about his or her research. There was also often a review of what the past year’s awardee did with their scholarship money. About 3 years ago, under the guidance of Dr. Marie-Francoise Chesselet, the vision and mission of Turken Day were broadened. Now included is a larger review of the work of the center, including additional presentations and posters. The day not only gives us an opportunity to learn about much of the research at the center, but it is an opportunity for members of the Easton Center to interact and network with each other as a way of increasing morale and collaboration.

6. Why should others give to the Easton Center/ UCLA? What would you say to someone who is thinking about donating? What is your advice to someone who is new to philanthropy?

Alzheimer’s disease is a horrible experience for patients and caregivers alike. As the world population ages, more and more people will be diagnosed with the disease. The toll extends beyond families and puts a strain on services and economies. The disease and its cure must be addressed. The Easton Center/UCLA provides an opportunity to be part of this work.

My advice to someone who is new to philanthropy is to find a cause that is important and/or personal to them and to be active in whatever way they can, whether that is giving money, volunteering, or being an advocate.

7. How does being involved in philanthropy enrich your life?

Philanthropy is a way to be part of something bigger than myself and to help heal some of what’s wrong in the world. It further enriches my life because it allows me to give back and show gratitude for all the good in it. Being involved in philanthropy also affords me an opportunity to get to know very special people who I might not otherwise meet.

If you would like to learn more about supporting our research programs, please contact Director of Development, Marina Stavrakas at (310) 267-1837 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


How to Choose an In-Home Care Provider

By: Monica Moore, M.S.G.

Tips on how to choose an in-home care provider As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the person with the disease begins to experience greater difficulty performing everyday tasks and has to rely upon others for assistance. This role often falls on the hands of the primary caregiver, but sometimes the tasks requiredgobeyondtheabilityorpreferenceoftheprimarycaregiver. Whenthisoccurs, the family should begin a conversation about bringing additional help into the home. In- home care can be provided in a variety of different ways and hiring someone to help with this task can remove some of the physical and emotional burdens from the immediate family caregivers.

There are many different types of in-home care and not all in-home services are the same. In-home help can range from intermittent, or respite, to non-medical daily assistance, to 24/7 care provided by a nurse or other medical professional. In-home care should be fluid to fit the ever-changing needs of the caregiver and the person with dementia.

Common types of in-home care services:

  • Companion services or custodial care: Early to mid-stages of dementia. Companion services help with supervision, keeping the person with dementia engaged and safe.
  • Personal care services: Mild to advanced dementia. A trained caregiver assists with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, exercising and other personal care needs. A home care provider would also be able to help with personal Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) as well as light housekeeping, errands, and meal preparation.
  • Skilled care: All stages of dementia. Skilled care is often provided by a licensed health professional (ex. LVN, RN, or physical therapist). Skilled care helps with wound care, injections, physical therapy and other medical needs prescribed by a physician.

Finding the right caregiver:
The decision to hire someone to come into your house to help with the daily care of a person with dementia can be challenging. Often times a person with dementia will be resistant to someone new in their home because they do not have the insight to understand that there is a need. Deciding who will provide home care is an important decision. For some, using a home care agency is the best choice and for others, an individual care provider is a better fit.

The following steps can be helpful when trying to find the right care:

  • Create a list of care needs. Before contacting prospective providers, create a list of care needs, as well as your expectations on how these needs will be met.
  • Call first. When you call to screen home care providers, find out what kind of help they offer and if it meets your specific needs.
  • Interview at home. Meet with a prospective home care agency or provider in your home. Prepare questions beforehand. It's a good idea to have a third person present so that afterwards you can discuss your impressions.
  • Check references. A quality agency will conduct criminal background checks, but check to see if these have been conducted. Ask for professional references.
  • Share information. The more a paid caregiver knows about the person they are caring for, the better care they can provide. Even with memory loss, a person with dementia maintains memories from periods of his/ her past. Familiarize the caregiver with past accomplishments, fond memories and other events that are relevant to your loved one’s life. This information will help the caregiver and the person with dementia create a personal relationship, not just a professional one.

No matter where you are in your dementia journey it is best to begin the conversation about home care sooner rather than later. Start by creating a list of needs, assess your finances, talk to an agency, ask your friends, and reach out to local organizations that can provide referrals. As a support group member recently said, it is best to stay half a step ahead of Alzheimer’s. So be a half step ahead and begin this conversation.

Tips Adapted from the Alzheimer’s Association 2018

For additional information on hiring in-home care please visit the Family Caregiver Alliance at


Thank You for Making a Difference!


why donate

The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) doubles every five years beyond age 65 and more than 1/3 of people over 85 have Alzheimer’s or related dementias. The popular press often speaks of “living well into the 100’s” but our lifespan will not meaningfully increase if the problems of Alzheimer’s disease and brain aging are not solved. Many of the world’s leading physician-scientists are working at the Mary S. Easton Center UCLA on just that.

Along with treating some of the most complicated cases of AD, we conduct genetic studies, basic research into disease pathways and progression, and rapid translation of discoveries and ideas into novel treatments from our drug discovery lab and clinical trials. The proximity and synergy between clinical medicine and basic science puts UCLA in a unique position to solve Alzheimer's disease.

The generosity of our donors allows the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at UCLA to honor its commitment to:

  • improve the quality of life for patients through compassionate care;
  • support the families and caregivers of our patients;
  • develop new medications and treatments for Alzheimer's disease and related conditions;
  • continue the relentless pursuit of a cure.

We would like to express our gratitude to the supporters of the Easton Center. Your philanthropy truly makes an impact on our progress and ongoing research.

If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please contact:
Marina Stavrakas at (310) 267-1837 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Clinical Research Opportunities

If you would like to advance Alzheimer's disease research, please consider being a participant. Below are the current recruiting trials. For a complete list of enrolling studies, visit our website at





Caregiver Support Groups


 Cargiver Support Groups

Our support groups are a collaborative effort between the Easton Center and the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program. They are FREE for family caregivers seeking a supportive environment in which to give and receive emotional and practical support from others who are on the same journey of caring for someone with dementia. For a complete list of our caregiver support groups or for more information, please contact Monica Moore at (310) 794-3914 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Evening Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group
Date: 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month
Time: 6:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Location: UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
1250 16th Street, Room G-210, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Click here for more information.

Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Telephone Support Group
Date: 1st Tuesday of each month
Time: 12:00 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.
Call-in Number: (415) 655-0003 (RSVP required for call-in access code).
Click here for more information.

Newsletter Editorial Team:
Co-Directors of Training and Education Activities: Sarah Kremen, M.D. and Monica Moore, M.S.G.
Editor: Nancy Osuch, B.A.

Mailing Address:
Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at UCLA
710 Westwood Plaza, Room C-224
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1769
| | Phone Number: (310) 794-3665 / Appointments: (310) 794-6039 |
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Copyright © 2018. Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at UCLA. All rights reserved.


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