Letter to the Editor

Help is at hand for Alzheimer's

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

To the Editor:

If a person has encountered a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for oneself or a friend or family member, there is help at hand locally.

While a cure still seems to lie in the future, the Putnam County Alzheimer's Support Group has been helping area people to understand and deal with the many possible problems involved.

Participants find the information useful and the mutual concern encouraging. Even people with Alzheimer's patients in another county will be able to learn about the course of the disease and how to be helpful from a distance.

The group meets the second Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. in a classroom at the Putnam County Hospital. The state office of the Alzheimer's Association generally sends materials and sometimes speaker who have experience in solving problems specific to the disease. Dean Shugar is the current coordinator (653-4944).

With all the jokes about forgetting, it is important to Alzheimer's families to be able to separate fact from fiction. It is not a disease only of old people, and certainly not all old people get it. There do seem to be practical steps to prevent or delay it and ways to prepare for it wisely in case it does develop.

Most of these measures are a good idea for everyone to take in any case. And advice on these issues of aging is available at each session, along with the chance to talk to people who have been coping with similar situations.

Everyone who would like to share experiences and learn about the disease is welcome to come to meetings. Reminders of meeting dates appear in the hospital schedule and in the Banner Graphic.

The next meeting will be Sept. 10.

Edith Welliver