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Posted on: March 30, 2016

County offers resources for early stage memory loss

Individuals and families dealing with memory loss or facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s are typically filled with anxiety, fear and confusion. It’s a time when the sky can seem to be falling in. But there is hope, there are resources and there are people who can help.

Pierce County Community Connections Aging and Disability Resources (ADR) is hosting “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” a six-part series of discussions for families and individuals. The series will be led by Kris Sawyers-Dowling and Jessica Gerrard, two case managers with Aging and Disability Resources who specialize in providing practical help to families coping with memory loss. The focus will be on the initial journey of memory loss through Alzheimer’s and other Dementias and covers the warning signs and symptoms, managing behaviors, the disease progress, legal concerns, financial issues and local resources.

The schedule for “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” is:

  • April 11 – “What is Dementia? What are the warning signs?”
  • April 25 – “How does the disease progress? What should I expect?”
  • May 9 – “How do I start the conversation? How do I cope with the shock?”
  • May 23 – “What are the typical moods and behaviors? How do I manage them?”
  • June 6 – “How do I pay for care? What are the legal things I should do?
  • June 20 – “Where can I turn for help? What are the resources I can rely on?”
All sessions will be held Monday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center, 9112 Lakewood Dr. SW in Lakewood. Sessions are free and open to all. People can attend any or all of the discussions. No RSVP is required.

“Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. “It is also the only cause of death in the top ten in America that cannot be prevented or slowed. Most families notice subtle behavior changes that lead to doctor visits that lead to a formal diagnosis. This series is especially for families at the beginning stage of the journey or who simply want to be better informed.”

For additional information about the series call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.

Bob Riler, Community Connections
(253) 798-7384
[email protected]

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