New helpline chat system provides care, support to people with Alzheimer's in 90 languages

Posted at 7:51 AM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 07:51:58-05

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is introducing a new helpline chat system that will provide care and support to people living with the disease in 90 languages.

Here's how it works:

“Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t recognize language barriers, ethnic or geographical boundaries: It impacts people from all over the world who speak a wide variety of languages. Families affected by Alzheimer’s disease need to be able to access support, regardless of the language they speak. Adding this new feature to our Helpline enables us to break down language barriers and serve a greater number of people,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President & CEO.

For example, someone may ask, “What are some ways to help prevent my family member with Alzheimer’s from wandering?” in Spanish, and the system will recognize the foreign language text. The Helpline social worker will then type their response, which is then translated back into Spanish for the user on the other end. Because the translation occurs instantaneously, conversations can be had in real time.

English-language speaking individuals can utilize the system to have chat conversations with a licensed social worker through the Helpline.