The Alzheimer's Association offers education programs for families and non-professional caregivers. For persons with memory loss, their families and friends, there are courses designed to help you understand memory loss, develop a partnership with your doctor and learn skills to make legal and financial plans. Program topics vary and are offered throughout the state at various locations. Family care partners can participate in intensive, supportive programs to develop caregiving skills. These programs are free of charge.
The Alzheimer's Association does not pay an entry fee to participate in community programs or health exhibits/fairs. In addition to the regularly scheduled education classes, the Alzheimer's Association provides programs through local civic groups, faith-based and community organizations. View the current program schedule, and call 1.800.272.3900, to register and request more details.
Register today if you are caring for a family member with memory loss and want relevant information as your family members’ needs change. Below are descriptions of programs available in your community.
The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease
This program is designed to provide basic information that everyone needs to know about memory loss issues and what they mean for all of us. The different types of dementia, risk factors, obtaining a diagnosis, current research, and planning for the future will be discussed.
Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters
The warning signs of Alzheimer's disease are often dismissed as side effects of normal aging. If you or someone you know is experiencing memory loss or changes in behavior or thinking skills, it's time to learn the facts. Early detection, diagnosis and intervention are vital because they provide the best opportunities for treatment, support and planning for the future.
Attend this interactive workshop to learn the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's disease. We'll separate myth from reality and address commonly-held fears about Alzheimer's disease. Find out how to recognize the signs and the steps to take.
Caregiver: Are Your Needs Being Met?
Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia can become an overwhelming experience. Often, caregivers neglect their own well-being because they are devoting so much time to the responsibilities of day-to-day caregiving. This program will examine caregiver stress and offer coping strategies to become a healthier caregiver. The value of assembling a care team and the importance of setting realistic expectations for caregiving are topics that will be explored.
When someone is showing signs of dementia, it’s time to talk. The Alzheimer’s Association “Conversations about Dementia” program is designed to help you talk with your family about some challenging and often uncomfortable topics around Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some of the most difficult conversations to have are about:
- Going to the doctor to get a diagnosis or medical care,
- Deciding when it is necessary to stop driving, and
- Making plans for managing finances and legal documents to be sure the person’s wishes are carried out and the costs of future care are covered.
You may try to wait until the time is “right” to have these conversations, but in reality, that time rarely comes. The sooner these discussions can take place, the better, so you can include the person about whom you have concerns and avoid unexpected situations in the future. Join us and learn some tips for breaking the ice and setting the stage for meaningful and productive conversations about dementia.
Effective Communication Strategies
Communication is more than just talking and listening – it’s also about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. As the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias progress and the ability to use words is lost, families need new ways to connect with their loved ones. Join us to explore how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.
Legal and Financial Considerations in Dementia Care
While it is important for everyone to plan for the future, legal plans are especially vital for the person with dementia. The sooner the plans begin, the more the person with dementia may be able to participate. Come learn more about the necessary legal documents, tools to help with decision making and how to prepare for a meeting with your lawyer. Putting financial plans in place is also essential and may help to ensure that the individual’s care wishes can be met.
Living with Alzheimer’s for Caregivers: Early Stage
Early-stage Alzheimer’s is the beginning stage of the disease when changes in memory, thinking, and communication become noticeable. Individuals may have difficulty completing complex tasks and require more time to complete normal daily tasks. Family caregivers can adjust to living with Alzheimer’s disease through an understanding of early-stage symptoms, making adaptations in daily living routines and roles, and planning for future changes and needs.
Living with Alzheimer’s for Caregivers: Middle Stage
In the Middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia disorders, gaps in memory and thinking begin to make it more difficult for the individual to manage the day-to-day activities like dressing, bathing and eating without assistance. Personality, behavior and sleep patterns also continue to change. Caregivers assume greater responsibility in managing not only the personal care and finances of the individual but also meeting the challenges of maintaining safety while creating a supportive environment.
Caregivers will learn more about symptoms and care needs; techniques for managing behaviors and maximizing safety; relationship changes and supportive services available to help with the caregiving responsibilities.
Living with Alzheimer’s for Caregivers: Late Stage
The most current research about care in the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia indicates the benefit of including the person’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs in the treatment plan. Care becomes much more focused on how the person still can connect with others and engage with the environment.
This program will offer information about providing care, communicating, developing resources and working with your care team to support the individual during the later stages of the disease.
Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior
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.
Understanding Clinical Trials and Alzheimer's Disease
Clinical trials are part of the scientific process to help advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. The latest research efforts, to find effective interventions for treating, preventing, stopping and reversing the decline in memory and functioning will be described. In addition, this session provides an overview of the phases of clinical trials, issues for families to consider such as the benefits, risks, and expectations of participation and how to learn more about available trials in your area.
Residential Care Options: Finding the Right Fit for Your Family
Determining when it is time to make a transition from home to a residential care setting is not an easy decision. This program is designed to guide caregivers through the process of selecting the most appropriate care setting for their family member, providing an overview of the options and highlighting factors to consider when choosing this new home. The session also emphasizes the legal and financial considerations associated with moving an individual to a residential care setting. Many emotions may accompany this decision and important techniques for making the adjustment easier for the person with Alzheimer’s disease as well as other members of the family will be shared.
Visiting the Person with Dementia
As Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia disorder progresses, visits may become increasingly difficult. Many times we struggle with what to say or do on a visit, because the person may have difficulty participating in a conversation or doing the things that he or she used to enjoy. This program will help participants find new ways of communicating and interacting, as well as provide practical techniques to enhance the visit.
The Alzheimer's Association has programs and services available for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and those who are taking the journey with them. The Welcoming Series is an educational and supportive series designed specifically for individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, and those who support them. Groups meet together over several months to receive information about important topics related to living with memory loss and then the groups separate into two groups for discussion, allowing those living with memory loss to come together and their care partners to meet together as well. Welcoming Series groups are now forming in different locations. Please call 1.800.272.3900 for further information.
"Living with Alzheimer’s: For People with Alzheimer’s" is an interactive, three-part program where you will have a chance to hear from others who have been where you are. This program will cover information for people with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. We will discuss what you need to know, what you need to plan and what you can do to navigate this chapter of your life. Programs are currently forming in different locations. Please call 1.800.272.3900 further information.
We also offer support and education programs for individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and their caregivers. Please visit here for more information.
Family Care Consultation is a confidential, individualized service offered by the Alzheimer's Association. Assistance with problem solving and identification of resources are available to persons with memory loss and their family.