If you are in the Early Stages of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia or if you are experiencing changes in your memory, this section is for you.
The first thing you should know is that you are not alone. There is a lot of help and support available.
In this section, you will find tips and resources to increase your comfort, allow you to remain active, and help you cope. But more important, we hope you will find the inspiration to make your years ahead the best that they can be.
If you need someone to talk with, call our 24-hour Helpline 1.800.272.3900.
What do you mean by “early stage”?
Early Stage refers to people irrespective of age who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related cognitive impairment disorder and are at the beginning stages of the disease. People in Early Stage will experience some forgetfulness, mild problems with language, and problems making decisions, but are generally able to function normally during day-to-day activities without assistance.
What is not “early stage”?
People who have progressed beyond early stage are usually in need of a caregiver in order to perform day to day activities like dressing, making meals, transportation. People beyond early stage will not “remember” having a diagnosis of memory loss and have more significant problems with communication. If you are a caregiver for someone in middle stage, please call 1.800.272.3900 for information about Alzheimer’s Association Care Consultations, Support Groups, and community respite and care services.
Is there a cost?
No! All Alzheimer’s Association Early Stage Programs and Services are free of charge. However, pre-registration is required. Please call 1.800.272.3900 for more information or to register for any of our programs or services.
What happens when I can no longer participate in Early Stage Programs?
Early Stage programs are designed for people with Early Stage cognitive loss, however, in times of transition, our team will work with you and your family to provide Care Consultations services for future planning. The Alzheimer's Association offers programs for caregivers including support groups, educational classes, and a 24/7 Helpline.
Social engagement opportunities for people with early memory loss are the best way to stay connected, active, and engaged in your community. Meet others with mild cognitive loss, learn something new, engage in something creative, get some physical activity, or discover resources and learn strategies for living with memory loss.
Registration for events is required. Email Kera Magarill firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.272.3900 to RSVP.
SPARK! is a FREE program for people experiencing mild memory loss and their family, friends, and guests. SPARK! programs feature interactive experiences in a welcoming environment. Specially trained educators engage participants in lively discussions, art-making, social engagement, and other hands-on multi-sensory activities. Programs SPARK the minds of participants with conversation, creativity, and engagement.
ArtReach is a free community tickets program for people experiencing mild memory loss and their family, friends, and guests. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia often feels very lonely for people in the early stages as some individuals feel disconnected from friends and social opportunities. ArtReach and the Alzheimer's Association has been committed to ensuring that these families and individuals have proper access to arts and cultural activities in their community.
How it works:
Receive weekly emails each week to shows, theater events, cultural venues, and other special events. Request tickets for your family through our ArtReach coordinator, pick up the tickets (either at will call or at another location), and enjoy!
Contact Kera Magarill at email@example.com or by calling 303-813-1669 for more information.
These programs are designed for people living with Early Stage Alzheimer’s or a related disorder, Mild Cognitive Impairment, or people who are concerned about recent memory loss. People are welcome to attend as individuals or with a family member, friend, or care partner.
The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia & Alzheimer’s for Early Stage
Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. If you or someone you know is affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it’s time to learn the facts. This program provides information on detection, possible causes and risk factors, stages of the disease, treatment, and much more.
- Tuesday December 1st, 10:00-12:00pm
455 Sherman St Denver, CO
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.
- December Series
Part 1 Monday December 7th, 1:00-4:00pm
Part 2 Monday December 14th, 1:00-4:00pm
455 Sherman St Denver, CO
Living with Alzheimer’s: For People 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.
Annual Education Symposium
This one-day conference offers an opportunity to network with others in addition to information and insight into the disease, and help coping with the challenges it presents for those with a diagnosis as well as families, friends and loved ones.
Early Stage Support Groups
Early Stage support groups are specifically designed for individuals with early memory loss, who have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Early Stage Alzheimer’s or a related disorder and their families and friends. The Early Stage Support Groups run in 8 week series where the same individuals meet every week to discuss different topics and offer each other emotional support, connections, and advise. The group splits into two rooms with the individuals with early memory loss in one room and care partners in another room. Topics that the group will discuss include:
- Understanding the disease
- Disclosing a diagnosis
- Changing ways of communicating
- Relationship changes
- Practical planning for the future
There is a brief screening process to ensure that the group is a good fit for everyone. If you are interested in attending the group and would like to schedule a screening interview please contact Heather Kanapackis at 303-813-1669.
Younger Onset Alzheimer’s
Up to 5% of the over 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s Disease are under the age of 65. Because many of these people are still working and taking care of families, we recognize that your needs are different. We offer many opportunities for people with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s including:
Please call 1.800.272.3900 for more information or to register for a young onset program.
Brochures and Resource Library
There are many resources available in whatever form you prefer to use. Your regional office offers CD Roms, DVDs, books and cassette tapes on a variety of subjects related to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
National Library Services
If you have been diagnosed and are in the Early stage for the disease, we have two brochures that may be of assistance on the special planning needs of early stage individuals:
-Early stage Alzheimer's: What you should know, what you should do
-10 tips for keeping your independence
Care Consultation provides support, solution-focused care planning and referral to community and chapter services for family members who are caring for a person with dementia. This service can be provided over the phone, via e-mail or during an in-office meeting. It is aimed at those care givers who are overwhelmed by stress and exhaustion, have difficulty finding services, are confused about symptoms and care giving and/or face complicated family problems. The service is available to individuals or a family group. Care Consultation is available in all our chapter offices, located throughout Colorado.
For further information, call the 24-Hour Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.
Enrollment Programs for Wandering
At some point during the disease 70% of people with a diagnosis will wander. While this may not be a concern for you yet, tracking programs like Comfort Zone® and MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® provide you with greater independence for a longer period of time while offering peace of mind for your family and friends.