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 at Café Connect, engage in something creative, get some physical activity, or discover resources and learn strategies for living with memory loss at Taking Action. Past monthly program offerings include: Yoga, Watercolor Painting, Tai Chi, Poetry, Unforgettable Art, Improv, and more!
Registration for events is required. Email Kera Magarill firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.272.3900 to RSVP.
Art and About
The Alzheimer’s Association works with partners at the Denver Art Museum to offer private tours for people with mild memory loss. Specially trained docents lead participants through a journey of art and discussion. Includes FREE museum admission. Space is limited.
Denver Art Museum Tours
10:30 am - Noon
Participate in a guided tour for about an hour.
Jiminy Wicket and the Denver Croquet club invite you to play croquet year round. This is a great activity for people with early memory loss and their care partners and a fun way to get connected. No experience necessary! Pre-registration is required.
Winter Program - Mondays
St. John’s Lutheran Church/School
700 Franklin St. (Washington Park area)
10 a.m. - Noon
Summer Program - Mondays
Washington Park Croquet Lawn
10 a.m. - Noon
Music is an activity that engages the whole brain! Music Connect is a fun way for musicians and non-musicians alike to join in the fun through singing, dancing, playing and instrument, or just listening! Sessions are held weekly and are facilitated by professional community musicians and teachers.
Music Connect - Fridays
455 Sherman Street
1 - 2 p.m.
The Colorado Chapter offers education classes for people living with Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and their care partners. Please visit our Online Calendar to view current classes. Or call 1.800.272.3900 for an up-to-date list of classes in your area.
Orientation to Early Memory Loss (offered monthly)
Experiencing cognitive changes? Concerned about memory loss for you or a loved one? Just received a diagnosis? In this class, we will discover what is dementia and explore beginning changes, common decisions, and resources for treatment and planning.
Living with Alzheimer’s: Early Stages for Families( offered every other month)
This three week series takes a deeper look at the diagnosis and how to continue to live well. Family members and friends are invited to attend along with the person with the diagnosis. Discussion includes understanding early memory loss, available treatment, clinical trials, handling expected changes, communication, and more.
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.
Support groups are specifically designed for individuals, families and friends. Our Early Stage groups offer settings that welcome family, friends and the person with the disease. Support Groups meet monthly and offer an opportunity to talk with others who are experiencing the same types of challenges. While the disease exhibits itself in different ways for each person, many of the basic symptoms, reactions and coping skills are the same. The mission of the Support Group is to support and empower individuals and care partners as they deal with Alzheimer’s disease and related memory loss disorders, and to shed light on important issues and challenges as they arise. Together, we learn about dementia and its emotional impact on individuals, care partners and families. Ultimately, our aim is to create an atmosphere that nurtures new friendships and peer support during and beyond the group experience. The following themes are a sample of the issues addressed in the Support Group:
- Understanding the disease process
- Family dynamics
- Practical planning for the future
- Emotional & psychological responses to the diagnosis
- Honoring independence vs. taking over
- Coping strategies
- Changing responsibilities, roles & task sharing
Registration is required. To register, please call 1.800.272.3900.
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.