Meet our education and outreach staff

Our education and outreach staff work across Washington and Northern Idaho. They are often the people you will see in the community: giving presentations, holding workshops, and creating and maintaining relationships in the community. Learn more about them below with some Q&A’s!

 

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Joan on the right

Joan Acres- Richland office, covering central and southeast WA, Chelan and Douglas counties 

What is your role at the Alzheimer’s Association?
South East Washington Community Outreach Coordinator

How long have you been with the Alzheimer’s Association?
I have been with the Alzheimer’s Association for eight years.

Why did you choose to go into this field of work?
I have worked in the field of Long Term Care for over 40 years in skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care facilities.  When I first started, there were no memory care facilities for people with dementia and anyone with this diagnosis lived in skilled nursing care facilities.  These were my favorite residents, and at that time we didn’t know all we know now about dementia special care needs. But, as we learned more and memory care units were started, I became an administrator at one and loved being with the residents and helping their families.  After over nine years, I was lucky to go to work for the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

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Lisa Barrett – Richland office, covering central and southeast WA

What is your role at the Alzheimer’s Association?
Care Navigator- I am responsible for fulfilling a grant through SE WA Aging & Long Term Care that covers the 8 counties of SE WA including Benton/Franklin, Walla Walla, Yakima, Pomeroy, Garfield, Asotin and Kittitas counties.

How long have you been with the Alzheimer’s Association?
I have been working here for two months.  However, I am looking forward to many years with the Association.

What is a tip that you could give to caregivers or something that you want them to know?
It’s okay to feel frustrated, afraid, sad or angry, and all of those feelings are quite normal.  Allow yourself to feel them, acknowledge they are there and give yourself a break! Caregiving is not an easy job, and you certainly don’t have to do it alone.  Be willing to ask for help when you need it, find a support group, attend educational workshops and ask questions when you have a chance. And most importantly, don’t forget to take care of YOU!

 

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Hazel Borden – Lynnwood office, covers Snohomish County

What is your role at the Alzheimer’s Association?
Hazel Borden, MBA, Community Outreach Coordinator

How long have you been with the Alzheimer’s Association?
A little over 4 years,  and seems like just yesterday.

Why did you choose to go into this field of work?
After many years of working in corporate America,  I needed purpose. After my second son was born (we have four kids ages 6-13,)  we were told he was going to need a kidney transplant.. My husband and I had no idea the journey life would take us on as caregivers! As if an organ transplant had not beaten our family down enough, our now 11-year-old son (who received his transplant at the age of four) was diagnosed with Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (Atypical HUS); one of the rarest blood disorders there is to date. To this day, he gets a medical infusion every two weeks just to keep him alive, and he will undergo several transplants in his lifetime. We did not have many resources at the time: no support groups for parents, and siblings going through these difficult times, no helpline to call to just cry and having a listening ear. After a three-year medical journey through all of this, I had a profound calling to leave the corporate sales world, to serve others going through the caregiving journey. While the journey is different for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, the journey of caregiving for my child opened my eyes to what giving-your-all for someone else really meant.

 

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P.J. Christo – Coeur d’Alene office, covering north Idaho and Spokane area 

What is your role at the Alzheimer’s Association?
My role has with the Alzheimer’s Association has changed over the years.  Initially, I did home visits in order to pair up families with volunteer support.  After a few years, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s became a big priority in North Idaho of which I have many fond, challenging, and interesting memories.  Over the past 10 years, the delivery of programs & services has become my main responsibility.

How long have you been with the Alzheimer’s Association?
I’ve been working with and for the Alzheimer’s Association for about 21 years.

What is a misunderstanding about Alzheimer’s or dementia?
There are two misunderstandings about memory loss that seem to be dominant in my geographic area.  Many people still believe that memory loss is a significant part of aging and therefore do not pay attention to the early signs. Most people do not know that a baseline memory screening is included in their medicare physical, so I encourage them to ask their physician. Another misunderstanding is that if someone is diagnosed with just “a little touch of dementia” that they do not need support nor any interventions.  We’ve come a long way in the past 20 years, but these two misunderstandings can be incredibly detrimental to the whole family’s health and well-being.  

 

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Maggie Christofferson – Tukwila office, covers Western WA

What is your role at the Alzheimer’s Association?
Education Coordinator and Trainer

How long have you been with the Alzheimer’s Association?
Five months

What is a misunderstanding about Alzheimer’s or dementia?
One of the most common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s and dementia is that they are the same thing. Dementia is an umbrella term for issues with memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer’s is just one of the diseases that cause dementia   

 

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Joel Lociano – Spokane Office Spokane office, covering Spokane area, Idaho and Eastern WA

What is your role at the Alzheimer’s Association?
I am the Regional Director for Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.  I support the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission by establishing and cultivating relationships with community partners and donors.  I also provide care consultation to people with dementia and care partners in the Spokane area and provide support to other staff in the areas of fundraising, programs and services, communications, and advocacy.

How long have you been with the Alzheimer’s Association?
I’ve been with the Alzheimer’s Association for 22 years.

What is a tip that you could give to caregivers or something that you want them to know?
You are doing the best you can and that best is pretty darn good. You’re not alone.  Don’t beat yourself up. Take care of yourself by taking time for yourself. You have a tiger by the tail and you’re going need to seek and use help, otherwise that tiger will eat you alive.

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