News Flash

Human Services

Posted on: April 3, 2019

Tools for caregiving on the Alzheimer’s journey

With estimates of roughly 108,000 people in Washington state living with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s no surprise that more and more families are confronting the reality of caring for a loved one living with some form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the only top ten cause of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is hosting the popular series “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” beginning Thursday, April 4, 2019. The series will consist of six discussions designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, families, caregivers and others focusing on the initial journey of memory loss. Each session will be held Thursday afternoons from noon to 1 p.m. at the Parkland/Spanaway Branch Library, located at 13718 Pacific Ave. S. in Parkland.  People can attend any or all the discussions. 

Presentations will be held six times this spring:

  • April 4 – “What is Dementia? What are the warning signs?”
  • April 11 – “How does the disease progress? What should I expect?” 
  • April 18 – “How do I start the conversation? How do I cope with the shock?”
  • April 25 – “What are the typical moods and behaviors? How do I manage them?”
  • May 2 – “How do I pay for care? What are the legal things I should do?”
  • May 9 – “Where can I turn for help? What are the resources I can rely on?”

“Almost every family will be impacted by Alzheimer’s or other dementias,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Aging and Disability Resources manager. “Knowing the facts and understanding the disease early on is important. The more people know ahead of time about Alzheimer’s and other dementias the better they will be equipped to recognize the symptoms and be supportive of families on the caregiving journey.”

“Oh My Gosh – Now What?” is sponsored by the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center. Sessions are informational only and will be led by Kris Sawyers-Dowling and Jessica Girard, two case managers with Aging and Disability Resources who specialize in providing practical help to individuals and families coping with memory loss. All presentations are free and open to the public. Anyone of any age can attend. No RSVP is required. For more information about the presentations, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600 or 1-800-562-0332. 

Bob Riler, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources

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