A discussion of how Alzheimer’s Disease is increasingly affecting communities is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. today (Sept. 25) in the Capernaum Room at Grace Lutheran Communities, 206 N. Willson Dr. in Altoona.
Lisa Wells, dementia care specialist at the Eau Claire County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), will be the featured speaker. The program is the fall educational event of the Women’s Giving Circle (WGC) of the Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF) and is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.
Also on the program will be a performance by Stand in the Light Dementia Choir led by Cathy Reitz. The choir is made up of people with dementia and their caregivers. It was formed just over a year ago, and had presented two concerts since then, with more than 200 people in attendance at one last April.
Although the program is free, donations are welcome for a variety of local programs including Meals on Wheels, Eau Claire Memory Cafes and the Dementia Choir.
There are two Memory Cafes in Eau Claire, at the Chippewa Valley Museum and St. John’s Lutheran Church. Both began in 2014.
Memory cafes are intended for people experiencing early stage dementia, mild memory loss or cognitive impairment, and for their family and friends, according to Wells. They take place in the community in locations other than hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes. They typically last for for an hour and a half or two hours and occur once or twice a month, Wells said.
“Memory cafes are not support groups,” she added. “Cafes are an opportunity for caregivers and loved ones to do what they’re able, not unable, to do together. And that’s an important part.”
Jennifer Speckien, ADRC director, said “there is a growing demand for Meals on Wheels and the program relies heavily on donations from the public and voluntary contributions from the participants themselves.”
Meals on Wheels provides more than just a hot and nutritionally balanced meal to homebound seniors, Speckien said.
“All of our meals are delivered by a friendly staff member or volunteer,” she said. “This allows all of our participants to have some face to face time with someone during their day and also provides a good ‘check in’ to make sure folks are doing OK. It is because of Meals on Wheels that many seniors are able to continue to live in their own homes.”
Donations can also be targeted for Grace Adult Day Service certificates and Adaptive Equipment (medical aid equipment which can be loaned out). Gift certificates for Grace Adult Day Services can be obtained by contacting the ADRC at 715-839-4735.
People’s Bank Midwest is the premier sponsor of the event. More information is available by calling the ECCF at 715-552-3801 or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Women’s Giving Circle is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In that time, it has created an endowment of nearly $350,000 and has distributed over $186,000 in grants, according to the ECCF.