The numbers are shocking. Almost six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today. Experts estimate in 30 years that number will rise to 14 million. When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they often become the most important person in that family. Doctor appointments, cognitive evaluations and medication management become part of daily life for everyone involved. Caregiving can take its toll and before you know it, the person giving care is overwhelmed and exhausted.
Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is once again hosting the popular series “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” This six-week series of discussions is for individuals with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, families, caregivers and others focusing on the initial journey of memory loss. All sessions will be held virtually from 12-1 p.m. Attendees should register online to receive instructions for participating online or by telephone.
The schedule for sessions includes:
- Sept. 14 – What is Dementia? What are the warning signs?
- Sept. 21 – How does the disease progress? What should I expect?
- Sept. 28 – How do I start the conversation? How do I cope with the shock?
- Oct. 5 – What are the typical moods and behaviors? How do I manage them?
- Oct. 12 – How do I pay for care? What are the legal things I should do?
- Oct. 19 – Where can I turn for help? What are the resources I can rely on?
Sessions are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required, and guests may attend any of all the discussions. This series will be led by Kris Sawyers-Dowling and Jessica Girard, Aging and Disability Resources Case Managers specializing in providing practical help to individuals and families coping with memory loss.
“Caring for a family member or friend who has Alzheimer’s is a daunting task,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Aging and Disability Resources manager. “The Alzheimer‘s journey takes patience, flexibility and lots of support. Focusing on the needs of the caregiver is just as important as focusing on the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s. Giving good care means taking care, too.”
“Oh My Gosh – Now What?” is sponsored by the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). For additional information about the series call the ADRC at 253-798-4600.
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Bob Riler, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources