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Alzheimer's Association opens regional office in Jackson

The Jackson County Times-Journal - 1/3/2018

Alzheimer's is not a part of normal aging; it's a progressive, fatal disease. There is no cure, but you can learn about the disease and its warning signs and receive information about care options.

The Alzheimer's Association Greater Cincinnati Chapter has opened a Southeastern Ohio Branch in the City of Jackson that will serve eight counties including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Scioto and Vinton.

Southeastern Ohio Branch Manager Melissa Dever explained to The Jackson County Times-Journal that they decided they needed a "brick and mortar space" for people to be able to visit an office locally. The branch receives a lot of their program funding through the Area Agency On Aging District 7.

"We are looking at this location (Jackson) as a regional office," explained Dever. "We recently started leasing or renting our space here (The Office Commons) at the beginning of December."

Dever added, "We felt like Jackson was one of the more central locations that we could find. Also look at the area we cover; State Route 32 is right there and that's the corridor that we use to travel to the other counties. We have got a lot of positive response from people in the community, and I think they are wanting something brick and mortar wise in their area."

The regional office is housed inside The Office Commons, located at 135 Huron Street in Jackson. The association offers support, education, resources, and services to families and loved ones.

"I am a licensed social worker, and I have been with the association for about eight years," said Dever. "Some of the programs and services that we provide are family care consultations, support groups, family and community education programs, and professional education programs."

If you stop by the office and visit the staff, they will have a package of information containing a brochure on the basics of dementia, 10 warning signs, programs, and service.

Below are some of the programs and services:

Support:

Helpline: A telephone assistance service that provides information, supportive services and referral to Alzheimer's Association programs and/or community resources. You can access 24-hour assistance by calling the helpline at (800) 272-3900.

Family Care Consultations: A health care professional provides individualized education and care planning to families of individuals with dementia who are experiencing caregiving challenges.

Family Support Groups: Small discussion groups designed for family caregivers and friends which meet regularly in community settings. All meeting are facilitated by a professional and/or a family caregiver with an emphasis on peer support. Family can come visit the office for the Jackson-Vinton Family Support Group. The group will meet the third Thursday of every month from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Telephone Care Consultation: An evidence-based program in which a care consultant provides support and coaching to a family caregiver of a person with dementia through a series of phone interactions.

Early-Onset Group: A special focus group for families of individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia under the age of 65.

Early Stage Dementia Consultations: A healthcare professional provides individualized education and support to persons in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia.

Memories in the Making: An award-winning art program that provides individuals in the early or middle stages of Alzheimer's disease an opportunity for self-expression through the visual arts.

NextSteps: Referral program that provides clients a direct contact with an Alzheimer's Association clinician through a physician or medical office.

Education:

Family Caregiver Education: A variety of education programs are available for families of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Topics include symptoms, treatments, managing care challenges, safety concerns, coping strategies and more.

Early Stage Programs: Various education and support programs are available for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's/dementia and their care partners. Sessions provide information about the disease, address challenges brought on by the diagnosis, discuss future planning and provide opportunities to share experiences.

Professional Education Programs: Offer a comprehensive overview of Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia as well as issues related to caregiving specifically designed for healthcare professionals and paraprofessionals.

Community Education: With a focus on reaching diverse segments of the community, Chapter staff and volunteers are available for free presentations to social groups, civic and religious organizations, clubs and schools.

Online Learning: The Alzheimer's Association offers online courses about Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. These courses provide information on detection, causes and risk factors, stages of the disease, treatment and much more. Visit elearning.alz.org to learn more.

Resources/Services:

Alzheimer's Association TrialMatch: A free confidential tool that provides comprehensive information about clinical trials and an individualized matching service for people with dementia and their caregivers. Call (800) 272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/trialmatch for more information.

MedicAlert + Safe Return: A 24-hour nationwide emergency response service designed to identify individuals with memory impairment who become lost or have a medical emergency. Learn more at www.medicalert.org/saferturn.

Comfort Zone: A comprehensive Web-based GPS location management service that allows families to remotely monitor a person with Alzheimer's disease and receive alerts when the person travels outside a preset zone. Learn more by visiting www.alz.org/comfortzone.

Alzheimer's Navigator: A free online tool designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. It guides you to answers by creating customized action plans and providing access to information, support and local resources. Learn more by visiting www.alzheimersnavigator.org.

Cornerstone Newsletter: Mailed free of charge to more than 20,000 chapter clients and donors. Cornerstone offers the latest news of chapter events and programs as well as issues related to Alzheimer's research, caregiving and public policy.

Branch Program Coordinator Andrea Williams stated that office hours will be announced later, but there is a 24-hour helpline: 1.800.272.3900.

"We are doing Facebook live once a month on various topics, so people can join us that way and never have to leave their home," stated Williams. "The Facebook page can be found by searching Southeastern Ohio Branch of the Alzheimer's Association."

Dever and Williams would like to grow a volunteer base in Jackson County to support their mission. They would like to have someone in the office when they can't be there as well. The volunteer would be able to field questions or provide information in some capacity. If you are interested in volunteering just send an email to Dever at mdever@alz.org.

"So many people have questions and just don't know where to turn," said Williams. "We are here to support the community."

Dever added, "We just want to be integrated into the community even more."

 
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