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Local programs, support options available for memory loss

Published: Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 9:41 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 10:53 a.m. CST
(Submitted Photo)
A resident who attends the Willowbrook Adult Day Center paints a pumpkin during a recent activity at the facility. Park Centre WesleyLife offers a Garden View memory care household, along with an Adult Day Center at Willowbrook.

Caregivers and family members of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can seek local resources for support. As Alzheimer’s Awareness month commences in November, some local providers provided options for programs and support groups available in the community.

The most common type of Dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Newton Health Care Center Community Liaison Director Katie Kuhn said anyone is welcome to participate in their Dementia Support Group at 3:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month.

“You don’t have to have a family member who lives at our facility,” Kuhn said. “It’s for any loved one who needs support.”

Kuhn said the meetings are informal, open-ended and confidential. No RSVP is necessary.

“I think everyone should be reaching out to people in the community, whether it’s a family member or a friend to give them some idea of what they can do,” Kuhn said. “It can be daunting to take care of someone 24/7.”

Ten possible signs and symptoms of Dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association include memory loss that disrupts daily life, challenges in planning or solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks; at home, at work or leisure, confusion with time or place, trouble understanding visual images, new problems with words in speaking or writing, misplacing things, poor judgment, withdrawal from work or social events and changes in mood or personality.

Park Centre WesleyLife offers a Garden View memory care household, along with an Adult Day Center at Willowbrook.

“We are a dementia-based facility, the residents either live here or they participate in our special programs,” director of Willowbrook Kelsey Terpstra said.

Terpstra said the center also offers care at home, which can help eliminate some tasks from family members, such as, bathing, taking them to doctor’s appointments or haircuts and other services.

“I wish people would reach out sooner, maybe they could have had help in the home,” Terpstra said. “If someone is experiencing memory loss and their family needs extra help, we encourage them to reach out —were are here to provide health and well being.”

Terpstra said she currently facilitates a memory loss support group at 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. the third Thursday of every month. The support group currently meets at Newton Village.

Newton Village also offers a memory care facility, Elim Garden. Stephanie Kappos, the marketing coordinator at Newton Village, said Elim Garden is an assisted living community with nine rooms.

“There is a centralized area where residents are able to sit together and eat together,” Kappos said. “They keep busy with activities like backing and various outings.”

Contact Kayla Singletary at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or