The word “Alzheimer’s” triggers fears that Alzheimer’s Texas wants to address, according to the organization’s program director, Shannon Johnson-Quaife, Ph.D.
The organization is presenting a free Lunch ‘N’ Learn program to talk about those fears and other issues related to the disease. The event is 11:30 a.m. Friday, January 24, at First United Methodist Church, 1101 Bluebonnet Drive in Marble Falls. Register by emailing the office and program specialist Victoria Cardenas at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 512-241-0420.
The program is for individuals with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers, or anyone who is interested in knowing more about the disease.
“We provide it to a wide range of audiences, workers in the health care industry and family members as well,” Johnson-Quaife said.
Johnson-Quaife is the featured speaker and has firsthand knowledge of the disease.
She watched as her grandfather, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2002, went through mild stages of the disease before a car accident changed everything. He lived three more years after that.
During the January 24 program, she plans to list strategies to prevent the disease, address what can be done in the early stages, and discuss other aspects of the disease as it progresses.
“If there is a way to learn a new approach, it helps us build better relationships and understanding what our loved ones are experiencing,” she said. “The more people who understand that, the better the relationships.”
Johnson-Quaife noted that these events also allow people to share what’s happening at their own homes, and they discover they’re not the only ones going through specific situations.
“Being part of our Lunch ‘N’ Learn audiences, we can answer through experiences,” she said. “We can learn from what others have experienced.”
Marble Falls also has two support groups that meet regularly:
• HLA Lewy Body Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 10 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at Lake Shores Church, 704 U.S. 281 North
• Alzheimer’s group, 2 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Marble Falls Public Library, 101 S. Main St.
According to reports, 390,000 Texans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to grow.
“The word has a stigma to it,” Johnson-Quaife said. “We’re afraid. Others have come through this journey already, and we can work through it.”