Talking about Alzheimer’s and resources

With 108,000 people in Washington among the 5.7 million Americans who are living with Alzheimer’s, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is offering opportunities to talk about the disease among those who are most affected by it.

In October, the county government agency will host a free, six-part series of discussions for individuals with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, families, caregivers and others. The discussions will focus on the warning signs and symptoms, behaviors, legal concerns, financial issues and local resources.

All sessions will be held Monday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Puyallup Public Library, 324 S. Meridian in downtown Puyallup. People can attend any or all of them. 

The schedule, including topics, is:

  • Oct. 1, “What is dementia? What are the warning signs?”
  • Oct. 8, “How does the disease progress? What should I expect?”
  • Oct. 15, “How do I start the conversation? How do I cope with the shock?”
  • Oct. 29, “What are the typical moods and behaviors? How do I manage them?”
  • Nov. 5, “How do I pay for care? What are the legal things I should do?”
  • Nov. 19, “Where can I turn for help? What are the resources I can rely on?”

The sessions will be led by county case managers who specialize in coping with memory loss. 

Additional information is available from the county’s Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600.

“Almost every family will be impacted by Alzheimer’s or other dementias,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. “The more people know ahead of time about Alzheimer’s and other dementias, the better they will be equipped to recognize the symptoms and be supportive of families on the caregiving journey.”