By Jim Herlihy | Alzheimer’s Association
When family members suspect a loved one may be facing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, among the toughest conversations to have with them is the need to visit the doctor for a diagnosis. Soon after that comes the equally challenging talk about driving — and when to stop.
The Alzheimer’s Association will offer a special webinar, “Dementia Conversations,” on Sept. 12 to help families navigate some of the difficult steps in the very earliest stages of dementia. This is one of a series of free webinars that will be offered virtually in the coming months.
The full schedule for free Alzheimer’s Association webinars for August and September includes:
• “Living with Alzheimer’s: For People with Early-Stage Alzheimer’s and Care Partners.” In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, families face new questions as they adjust. What does the diagnosis mean? What kinds of plans need to be made? What resources are available to help? Hear from those directly affected and learn what you can do to cope with the changes that come with an early-stage diagnosis. This is a three-part series. Available in Spanish. — 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 8; Wednesday, Aug. 10; and Aug. 15.
• “Living with Alzheimer’s: For Middle-Stage Caregivers” — In the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease, those who were care partners now become hands-on caregivers. Join us and hear caregivers and professionals discuss helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease. This is a three-part series. Available in Spanish. — 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 17, Aug. 22 and Aug. 24.
• “Living with Alzheimer’s: For Late-Stage Caregivers” — In the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving typically involves new ways of connecting and interacting with the person with the disease. Join us and hear from caregivers and professionals about resources, monitoring care and providing meaningful connection for the person with late-stage Alzheimer’s and their families. Available in Spanish. — 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 29.
• “Living with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s” — When someone under 65 is diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, the first reaction is often shock or denial. This doesn’t happen to someone so young, does it? What does the diagnosis mean? What kinds of plans need to be made? What about work? What resources are available? Hear from those directly affected and learn what you need to know, what you need to plan for, and what you can do to ease the impact of the disease. — 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 9.
There are support groups designed specifically for caregivers for those living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
• Virtual group: meets at 6 p.m. via Zoom on the second Wednesday of the month. Call the Helpline at (800) 272-3900 to register.
• In person: meets at 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at the Family Fun Plex, 1501 65th Ave., Greeley, CO.
• Adult children: meets at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom on the second Wednesday of the month. Call the Helpline (800-272-3900) to register.
• “Dementia Conversations — Driving, Doctor Visits, Legal and Financial Planning” — When someone is showing signs of dementia, it’s time to talk. Often, conversations with family about changing behaviors can be challenging and uncomfortable. This program provides tips for breaking the ice with your family so you can address some of the most common issues that are difficult to discuss: going to the doctor for a diagnosis or medical treatment, deciding when to stop driving, and making legal and financial plans for future care. — 10 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 12.
• “Effective Communication Strategies” -— This workshop teaches caregivers to decode verbal and behavioral communication from someone with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Develop strategies for having meaningful connection with people in differing stages of dementia. — 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 14.
• “Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behaviors” — Behavior is a powerful form of communication and is one of the primary ways for people with dementia to communicate their needs and feelings as the ability to use language is lost. However, some behaviors can present real challenges for caregivers to manage. Join us to learn to decode behavioral messages, identify common behavior triggers and learn strategies to help intervene with some of the most common behavioral challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. — 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 19.
• “Caregiver’s Guide to Managing Money” — If you or someone you know is facing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another chronic illness, it’s never too early to put financial plans in place. Join us for “Managing Money.” This free Alzheimer’s Association education program will feature tips for managing someone else’s finances, how to prepare for future care costs and the benefits of early planning. — 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 21.
Like all programs and services of the Alzheimer’s Association, the webinars are offered at no charge, but registration is required. To register, call the free Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at (800) 272-3900. To learn more about Alzheimer’s Association programs and services, go to www.alz.org.