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Community Forum on Dementia

Dr. Preeti Joseph, CGH Medical Center Neurologist and Joe Landmichl, Alzheimer’s Association educator

A Community Forum on Dementia is being hosted 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 at Bethel Reformed Church, 230 E. 23rd St., Sterling, by the CGH Health Foundation, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association.

CGH neurologist Dr. Preeti Joseph (pictured above, left) will speak at 6 p.m. on “Dementia: Types, Testing and Treatment” followed by Joe Landmichl (right), Manager of Education & Community Volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association, on “Available Dementia Resources”.

From 5:30 to 6 p.m., meet with exhibitors from more than 10 area agencies that have a focus on dementia. There will be a separate activity planned for your loved one with dementia so that caregivers are able to attend the Forum. Plus, Landmichl will lead an interactive session with attendees to find out what barriers and gaps families are experiencing in caring for their loved ones with dementia. Refreshments will be served.

The main focus of this year’s CGH Health Foundation Annual Appeal is the new Dementia Project The Foundation will spend the next year raising awareness about dementia, with an additional focus on working to improve dementia resources and to provide assistance for our families and caregivers.

The impact of dementia on families can be devastating. Did you know that dementia is NOT a normal part of aging and that every 65 seconds someone is diagnosed with dementia? There are 5.8 million Americans live with dementia and by 2050 there will be 14 million.

Eighty percent of the care is delivered by family and friends. “This Community Forum is geared to those family members who are caring for someone with dementia as well as to those who might have it in their family and need to learn more about this incurable disease,” said Joan Hermes, Executive Director of the Foundation. “Chances are you know someone who is struggling with dementia and trying to figure out how to help someone who has it. Please spread the word about this important event. We want to help our community become better equipped to care for our loved ones.”

“Our goal this year is to create support groups, educate area professional staff and the public on how to communicate with someone with dementia, to provide community programs like this one and to promote community awareness of the disease,” said Hermes.

Already three Caregiver Support Groups have been established with training and support from the Alzheimer’s Association. Forum attendees will learn about these opportunities for support as well as other ways to assist them on their journey.

The Foundation is working to coordinate support groups in as many of the area towns in the CGH Medical Center service area as possible. “We will also be hosting a workshop aimed at legal, financial and social service planning in late summer,” said Hermes. “Plus, we are working with area partners on providing more adult daycare opportunities and an assistance fund to provide supplies/services for area families.”

For more information, contact Joan Hermes, 815/625-0400, ext. 5672 or email at joan.hermes@cghmc.com.