It’s normal for older adults to worry about forgetfulness as they age, but when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, individuals and their families must know what to expect as the disease progresses. With roughly 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today, it’s more important than ever that caregivers and families are supported through this diagnosis.
Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is reintroducing the popular series, “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” beginning Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Focusing on the initial journey of memory loss, the series will consist of six discussions designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia along with their families, caregivers, and others.
Each one-hour session will be held virtually on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. People can attend one or all of the discussions, but advanced registration is required. Register online or by calling the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 253-798-4600.
The schedule for sessions includes:
- May 4 – “What is dementia? What are the warning signs?”
- May 11 – “How does the disease progress? What should I expect?”
- May 18 – “How do I start the conversation? How do I cope with the shock?”
- May 25 – “What are the typical moods and behaviors? How do I manage them?”
- June 1 – “How do I pay for care? What are the legal things I should do?”
- June 8 – “Where can I turn for help? What are the resources I can rely on?”
Attendees will learn about the warning signs and symptoms, how to manage behaviors, disease progression, legal concerns, financial issues, and local resources. Sessions are led by Kris Dowling and Jessica Girard, expert case managers with Aging and Disability Resources who specialize in providing practical help to individuals and families coping with memory loss.
“About 500,000 Americans are diagnosed with dementia every year,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “Most family caregivers are unprepared to manage the daily challenges that take place in supporting someone suffering with dementia. Learning how to provide proper care for your family member, while maintaining care for yourself, is a necessary component to managing such a difficult situation.”
For more information, call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600.
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Kari Moore, Public Information Specialist
Pierce County Communications
Matt Santelli, Community Outreach & Education Specialist
Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources