Pierce County sponsors free early stage memory loss support series

Individuals and families dealing with memory loss or facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s are typically filled with anxiety, fear and confusion. It’s a time when the sky can seem to be falling in. But there is hope, resources, and people who can help.

All sessions will be held Wednesday evening’s from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Milton/Edgewood Branch Library, 900 Meridian Ave. E. in Milton. Sessions are free and open to all.  People can attend any or all of the discussions.  No RSVP is required.

“Oh My Gosh – Now What?” the six-part series of discussions designed for families and individuals, focuses on the initial journey of memory loss through Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The series covers the warning signs and symptoms, managing behaviors, the disease progress, legal concerns, financial issues and local resources.

Kris Sawyers-Dowling and Jessica Girard, case managers with Aging and Disability Resources who specialize in providing practical help to individuals and families coping with memory loss, will lead the six-part series.


The schedule for “Oh My Gosh – Now What?” is:

•       Sept. 21 – “What is Dementia?  What are the warning signs?”

•       Oct. 5 – “How does the disease progress?  What should I expect?”

•       Oct. 19 – “How do I start the conversation?  How do I cope with the shock?”

•       Nov. 2 – “What are the typical moods and behaviors?  How do I manage them?”

•       Nov. 16 – “How do I pay for care?  What are the legal things I should do?

•       Nov. 30 – “Where can I turn for help?  What are the resources I can rely on?”


“The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Aging and Disability Resources manager. “More than 107,000 people in Washington have Alzheimer’s. One in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease, but people as young as 40 can be diagnosed. Most families notice subtle behavior changes that lead to doctor visits that lead to a formal diagnosis. This series is especially for families at the beginning stage of the journey or who simply want to be better informed.”

The Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and the Pierce County Library System is co-sponsoring the series. For additional information, call the ADRC at 253-798-4600.

On the web: www.co.pierce.wa.us/?nid=2128

– Pierce County