Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society provides early stage memory loss intervention

Runners and walkers gather at Tonaquint Park to participate in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Society's "Support Your Local Grandparent" fun run/walk, St. George, Utah, Nov. 8, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society is offering a 10-week course to registered participants that will benefit those with early stage memory loss or dementia diagnosis and their care partners. A group of local professionals will provide the tools and resources necessary to participants as they face the challenge of a memory loss illness.

“There are seven stages of dementia,”  LuAnn Lundquist, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society Executive Director said. “The first one is where the disease process is evident in brain pathology, but few symptoms are evident. Stages two through four are very important stages to recognize and then become active to maintain brain health as well as making preparations and decisions for the future. After stage four, many of those opportunities are limited.”

The classes will promote brain health and help participants plan for the future. This 10-week course is meant to aid the person with memory loss and their primary care partner. Professionals in the community will present on matters of importance to the group and provide connections to available resources. These include presentations on legal and financial preparation, pharmaceutical and alternative remedies, brain health and nutrition. For the second hour the participants may attend either a cognitive training group or a care partner training and support group.

“Clients that are proactive in their health are the ones that usually sign up for this intervention. We have seen a lot of success with those who attend this course,” Lundquist said. “Alzheimer’s and dementia can seem overwhelming, but with this course our clients walk away feeling better prepared and empowered to face the future.”

Symptoms of memory loss can be caused by reversible conditions. It is important to quickly see a doctor to rule out those conditions. If the diagnosis is an illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease, there are things that can be done in the early stages to help the person function better and function longer. There are also proactive decisions that give voice to the person with memory loss in the future. It is important to face this life event early. Being in denial during the early stages can cause a family to miss opportunities to improve the situation.

Preregistration is required to attend this course that will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the St. George Library, 88 W. 100 South, St. George.

To register, contact the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Society in person at 168 N. 100 East, Suite 104 or by phone, 435-319-0407 or email [email protected].


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