Early Stage Support Group for Alzheimer's patients & caregivers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Early Stage Support Group for Alzheimer's patients & caregivers

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Across the U.S., 5.4 million people live with Alzheimer's disease, and 15 million people are caregivers for those diagnosed with the disease.

To help both groups of people, the Alzheimer's Association East Central Iowa Chapter is starting a new, early stage support group.

"This support group is different than our other caregiver support groups in that it involves the person facing the disease themselves as well as their care partner," said Jessica Simon with the Alzheimer's Association East Central Iowa Chapter.

The group is specifically for people and their families in the early stages of Alzheimer's or forms of dementia. To participate, you just need a recent diagnosis and a willingness to talk about it.

"And this gives them an opportunity to get connected with local resources, but also have this support system in that they're surrounded by people in the same scenario that can help identify ways to cope with this," said Simon.

The hope is to kick off the support group in February. It will meet twice a month for about 90 minutes. Specific dates and times haven't been set. It depends on the schedules of those interested in the group.

A similar group started in Cedar Rapids a couple years ago, but the Alzheimer's Association wants to also reach people in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo area.

"Our main goal is just to offer that unique type of support that we know families here are crying out for," said Jessica Simon.

The new, early stage support group should provide information, emotional support and socialization. For more information, call the Alzheimer's Association Cedar Falls office at 319-277-4100.

You can also call that number to register for the Alzheimer's Association "Day at the Hill." That's coming up Tuesday, February 5th in Des Moines. You're invited to advocate for Iowans with Alzheimer's between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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