Program Creates a Vital Community after Diagnosis
By Fran Decker, MSW, LSW
In 2013, the Alzheimer’s Association® l launched an Early-Stage Social Engagement Program across the country to help people living in the early-stage of Alzheimer’s remain mentally and socially active post diagnosis.
The programs are called Memory Cafés and one is now being offered in Lock Haven. Located in the Assembly Room of Covenant United Methodist Church at 44 West Main Street, the program is a joint venture between the Alzheimer’s Association, the Clinton County Alzheimer’s Support Group and the Outreach and Witness Committee of Covenant United Methodist.
The program, called the Covenant Café, is an activity group where participants are given an opportunity to be involved in socially and physically stimulating programs which will help them remain as active as possible. Each session includes light refreshments, a social time, arts and crafts, physical activities and other activities designed to keep people active, stimulated and in the company of others. The program is facilitated by community volunteers including Lock Haven University students.
Traditionally, people have been diagnosed later in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, so many dementia-related programs have been more focused on serving people in the middle-stage of the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages early detection so that families can plan for the future together and take advantage of available resources. With earlier detection, individuals in the early stage are seeking more opportunities for appropriate social engagement where they can interact and connect with others facing similar challenges.
The Lock Haven group began meeting in July of 2016 and continues to meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 1-3 PM. Individuals and families from Clinton, Lycoming and surrounding counties who are interested in being involved in this special program are invited to call Fran Decker, MSW, LSW, Covenant Café Coordinator at (570) 748-4302 or (570) 263-2084 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.