Adults typically keep an eye out for changes in behavior or memory loss in their parents. Older adults worry about remembering names, appointments, directions – even what they had for breakfast that morning. Even though such concerns may not mean someone has Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is wise to be aware.
The numbers are amazing. Almost six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today. In 30 years that number is expected to rise to 14 million. But when one woman or man is diagnosed, that one becomes the most important person in the world for that family.
Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources hosts a new series of the popular “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” seminar beginning Sept. 14. The six-part series of discussions is designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, families, caregivers and others focusing on the initial journey of memory loss. Attendees will learn the warning signs and symptoms, managing behaviors, the disease progress, legal concerns, financial issues and local resources.
All sessions will be held online from 12 to 1 p.m. Please register online in advance or call 253-798-4600 or 800-562-0332. People can attend any or all of the discussions. Sessions are free and open to all.
The “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” sessions from 12 to 1 p.m. are:
• 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 led by Kris Sawyers-Dowling, Aging and Disability Resources case manager, who specializes 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.
Bob Riler, Outreach & Education specialist
Pierce County Human Services, Aging and Disability Resources