1999-10-20 / Seniors

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On Alzheimer’s Disease

By John Toscano

If you have a day to spare and you would like to enhance your knowledge and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, then make arrangements to attend the city Department for the Aging’s annual conference on Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, Oct. 27th at the New York Hilton Hotel at Avenue of the Americas and 54th Street in Manhattan.

The small fee for registration—$30 for caregivers, $45 for students and $75 for professionals—will be well worth it, entitling you to attend workshops and have lunch too.

According to Commissioner Herbert Stupp, this year’s conference, entitled "Alzheimer’s Disease: From Discovery to Promise," will feature "informative workshops led by professionals in the fields of medicine, research, health, social services and the law."

Stupp adds: "Our Alzheimer’s Disease conference is the largest and oldest of its kind in the country. Attracting nearly 1,000 people annually, it offers Alzheimer’s disease family caregivers and professionals a day of education, networking and cutting edge information from experts in the fields of research, medicine, policy and science."

If you would like more information or registration materials, call the Alzheimer’s Center and Long Term Care Services at (212) 442-3086.

Meanwhile, researchers continue to make advances in dealing with this debilitating disease which robs its victims of their memories and also has serious physical effects. It places a severe burden on family members, as well. It afflicts about 4,000,000 Americans.

Results of one research project, reported recently in the New York Times, are encouraging. It said scientists had developed a vaccine "that has proved highly effective in both preventing and reversing one of the primary brain abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s disease."

Of course, the article said, the research had been done on mice and it remained to be seen if the vaccine would have the same affect on humans. But the story quoted Dr. Steven DeKosky, an official of the Alzheimer’s Association, as saying: "This is the first time anyone has demonstrated the ability to either totally prevent plaque deposition, or to make the deposits remove themselves." The article explained that plaque-like deposits are commonly found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and "are believed to cause cell death in the brain."

The manufacturer of the vaccine has applied to the Food and Drug Administration to start safety trials on humans. The manufacturer, Elan Pharmaceuticals, has set up a hotline, (800) 894-7308, for anyone seeking information about the new vaccine. The Alzheimer’s Association set up a similar hotline at (800) 272-3900.


With rent control coming up for renewal by the state legislature at its next session, there may be many problems arising for seniors living in rent stabilized or controlled units. Commissioner Herbert Stupp, of the Department for the Aging, addressed this topic recently.

Stupp cited the case of a senior couple who had resided in a rent stabilized garden apartment for the past 20 years and now faced this problem: the apartments in the complex were being sold off as individual town houses, not as co-ops or condos, and the senior couple could not afford to buy. "Do we have any protection under the law or will be forced to find another apartment," they asked.

Stupp answered that theirs was "a rather unique situation" and he couldn’t address the problem directly. He advised them to contact the Department for the Aging’s Information and Referral Helpline at 1-212-442-1000 for the name of a housing counseling organization in their neighborhood, or call the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal at 1-718-739-6400. "They will be able to give you all the facts on your rights as sitting tenants." But he added:

"Along the same line, seniors—anyone at least 62 or older—living in apartment buildings that are being converted to cooperative or condominium ownership, may refuse to purchase the apartment and remain in occupancy as fully protected rent stabilized tenants with the right to a lease renewal. Rent controlled senior tenants are similarly protected against eviction and are subject to the same rent guidelines as previously."

"Also an owner cannot evict a tenant from a rent stabilized apartment for the purpose of owner occupancy unless the owner provides an equivalent or superior apartment at the same or lower rent in an area near the tenant’s present apartment. A senior tenant in a rent controlled apartment cannot be evicted for owner occupancy."





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