Healthcare outreach specialist’s passion is Alzheimer’s Orange County

Vicki Soffa says Alzheimer’s is third leading cause of death in the county

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Pictured above is Vicki Soffa of Alzheimer’s Orange County. Courtesy photo

How does a person who counts the Las Vegas “Rat Pack,” Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Dean Martin and Joey Bishop, as long-ago acquaintances, plus Wayne Newton and Elvis, become an Healthcare Outreach Specialist, representing Alzheimer’s Orange County?

“I lived in Las Vegas,” says Vicki Soffa, “during my growing up years and since my Mother was a performer in the ‘show biz’ of Vegas at that time, access to the Hollywood Stars was just natural for us.  It was an exciting time for me.

“After some training, however, I eventually became a Respiratory Therapist for Elvis and really found my true calling in that field. My education after that helped me to become a Respiratory Care Practitioner and Cardio-Pulmonary Technician.

“Later, I transitioned to Hospice Care and Home Health Care and then to Director of Sales and Marketing for a Continuing Care Retirement Community which I served for 15 years. Now, after 30 years in the area of Hospice, Home Care, working in Senior Living and connecting with families with loved ones with dementia in Memory Care, my passion to make a difference with families struggling with these health issues grows only stronger.

“My passion is directed through my 5-year association with Alzheimer’s Orange County whose mission is to provide services and programs, many free of charge, to those with Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders, their families, and caregivers.

“As most everyone knows Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. What most everyone does not know is that Alzheimer’s is the 3rd leading cause of death in Orange County.  It affects approximately 84,000 people in our large community.  Tragically, currently it cannot be prevented or cured and there is limited treatment available. However, clinical trials and research are a constant, raising some hope.

“Alzheimer’s Orange County,” Vickie continues, “was founded in 1982 by a group of individuals seeking to provide support for those living with memory loss and especially with their families.

“We became a chapter of a national Alzheimer’s nonprofit, but in 2015, separated from that group and returned to our roots as a fully independent, 100% local nonprofit.  All of our fundraising goes directly to local care support and research, to help local families affected by the disease. We have become a nexus of care and support for thousands of individuals and their family members every year.

“No other organization in Orange County provides the full breadth of services that we offer which includes a telephone support line, support groups, care consultations, memory screenings, family, caregiver and community education, social, cultural and art activities and adult day care centers in Garden Grove and Laguna Woods.  Additionally, we work to transform the healthcare system by working to educate and inform healthcare professionals about resources and services to help their diagnosed patients and their families to live as well as possible.

“Unfortunately, it is safe to say that everyone knows someone, or will in the future, who has been affected by Alzheimer’s disease in some capacity.  And yet, so many are still unaware of the resources and services that we can make available to them to help.  If you or anyone you know is affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia or is caring for someone who is, please refer them to us.  We can help.”

Vicki sees being able to network with the “incredible individuals, businesses and organizations in the Seal Beach Chamber” as a limitless opportunity to educate and find support for her organization, both in volunteering and donations.  She looks forward to volunteering for the chamber in future activities, especially the Classic Car Show as she is a car enthusiast!

Contact Info:  Vickie.soffa@alzoc.org ; 714-916-7651; Office: 949-955-9000; www.alzoc.org.