Alzheimer Society of Washington expands local services

The Alzheimer Society of Washington is expanding its services in Whatcom County to meet the needs of an increasing number of people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or memory loss, as well as the need for more caregiver support.

The nonprofit organization has added a six-week class, titled “Finding Your Stride – A Caregiver’s Guide to Self-Care,” designed to help caregivers learn how to maintain their own emotional, mental and physical health so they can best care for loved ones.

A new “Staying Connected” class has also been added in Ferndale. The free weekly program is for adults who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia-related illness and are able to participate and feel comfortable in a group setting. Staying Connected classes also meet weekly in Lynden and Bellingham.

The Alzheimer Society of Washington is also hosting a fundraiser from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, at the Best Western Lakeway Inn in Bellingham. Tickets are available for purchase online.

The need for dementia education and caregiver support has risen with the aging of the “baby boomer” generation,  mainly because those providing unpaid care are primarily family members and friends, not eldercare professionals, according to a news release from the organization.

Recent findings show that 1 in 3 seniors will become afflicted with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The findings also show millions of caregivers are providing billions of hours of unpaid care each year.

The Alzheimer Society of Washington has operated in Whatcom County since 1983. The organization can be contacted at 360-671-3316.

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