NEW LEXINGTON — To better serve families in Perry County, the Alzheimer’s Association is enhancing its family support and educational services.

Melissa Dever, LSW, Southeastern Ohio Program Director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati, and her staff, will be working to assist families in Perry County coping with the many challenges posed by alzheimer’s and related dementia through a variety of programs.

“We are excited to work with families in Perry County. The staff and me included, have well over 20 years of experience working with the geriatric population. When you interact with us, know you will be receiving assistance from a Registered Nurse, Licensed Social Worker and Licensed Nursing Home Administrator with years of experience working with dementia patients and their families.

“There is no setting or situation we haven’t experienced or don’t understand. Our varied backgrounds include, hospice, home and community based services, hospitals, nursing facilities and assisted livings. I have been with the Alzheimer’s Association over nine years and can assure the community, they will be in excellent hands when they contact us for assistance,” said Dever.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in alzheimer’s care, support and research. Local programs offered by the Association include family care consultations, support groups and community education. All Association programs are provided free of charge to families.

Family Care Consultations assists families in coping with all aspects of the caregiving experience by providing education, support and referral to services. This program is available to families at all phases in the disease process, from a new diagnosis to the later stages. Those who participate in Care Consultations experience: improved care — less stress — fewer visits to the ER and hospital — delayed nursing home placement. If you would like to discuss your particular situation, call 740-578-4382.

Family caregiver support groups are small discussion groups for caregivers, family members and friends of people with alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. It is an opportunity for caregivers, family members and/or friends of persons with dementia to gather together to discuss issues related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, discuss caregiving challenges and exchange information and ideas, and provide mutual support with others who are in similar situations.

The Alzheimer’s Association staff are available for presentations to community groups, civic and religious organizations, law firms, financial institutions, business groups, clubs, schools, and general public. Various topics can be presented, including an overview of alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, warning signs and diagnosis of the illness, managing communication and behavioral symptoms, family caregiver issues, community resources and the program and services of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia often has a major impact on the family. Alzheimer’s is currently the sixth-leading cause of death in the nation and the only one in the top 10 without an effective treatment prevention or cure. For many caregivers, alzheimer’s causes increased stress due to changes in lifestyle, family roles and the affected person’s behavior and needs.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s Association programs and services, contact Dever at 740-578-4382 or mdever@alz.org. You can also call the Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

Today, alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans. The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati serves 37 counties in Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana where an estimated 50,000 people are affected by alzheimer’s disease. Chapter programs are provided free of charge.

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