News Flash

Area Agency on Aging

Posted on: August 30, 2019

New Support Group Tackles Early Stage Dementia Diagnosis

An image of an elderly mother and her daughter smiling at each other.

HONESDALE – The Alzheimer’s Association and Wayne Memorial Hospital team up to offer a new Early-Stage Education Support Group for those recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of Dementia.

The group will meet for a series of six sessions, beginning Monday, Oct. 7, in the Chaltos Conference Room at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale. The series, which continues weekly until Nov. 11, is free to the public and designed for those in the early stages of dementia and their care partners.

The inaugural meeting provides on overview of the series and discusses Coping with a Diagnosis. On Oct. 14, the group will learn the Basics of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and the Brain Tour, followed by a discussion of the stigma, disclosure and changing relationships the next week. The Oct. 28 session will address Planning for the Future; on Nov. 4, the group will talk about Emotions, Behavior and Communication, with the final session, Nov. 11, exploring Medications and Research.

The sessions are designed to offer help as well as enhance consumer awareness and advocacy. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a major goal of the program is to change the face of Alzheimer’s in the public eye and hopefully encourage more people with an early diagnosis to better plan for their own care and seek assistance and medical interventions earlier.

“I am thrilled to be able to provide this type of service to the community,” said Kristen Shipsky, MSW, CDP, Constituent Services Coordinator for the Greater Pennsylvania chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “It is long overdue and I am grateful to the volunteers and Wayne Memorial Hospital for making this come together.”

Wayne Memorial’s Community Health Manager, Carol Kneier, RD, LDN, CDE, noted that the hospital’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment pointed to a need for programs like this. “I am very excited to have this program at Wayne Memorial,” said Kneier. “Living with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be very challenging for the patient and his or her caregiver. This program is tailored specifically to this population at the earliest stage of diagnosis—when it can really make a difference later on.”

Officials recommend attending all the sessions and space is limited. You must register by calling the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

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