Another article was posted in my Archive on 3/25/12 entitled Elderly subjects may face risk of developing Alzheimer's based on brain plasticity This post supported a post on the blog entitled Creative Programs, a God-Send for Surviving the Ravages of AD Longer. This is also worth the read on the point I am trying to make.
Memory Cafes have flourished in Europe. They have been slow to start in the U.S. From the net where I asked “What is a memory café?” I received this answer:
We were there along with two other members of the Early Stage Advisory Group of the National Alz.Org, who with their spouses and/or caregivers discussed the needs of those affected by the Early Stage of AD.
We were well received by the rest of the group attending this all of whom were professionals or government officials who are charged with making policies and programs for AD in the country. Lisa Gwyther, a professional from NC who conducted our panel as moderator stated she learned more from us in one sitting than she did in 30 years of professional practice. (Perhaps hyperbole it sure sounded nice to hear it!) It was gratifying.
I presented written material to this group which consisted of the memorandum which follows entitled: Programs Worth Advocating For ESAD. This is the summary of a more detailed essay that I have posted in my archive entitled: A GREATER NEED OF CARE IN EARLY STAGE ALZHEIMER’S
PROGRAMS WORTH ADVOCATING FOR ESAD
Specifically what we can work on are the following:
a. First Stop Programs: A Place With People such as Early Stagers that patients just diagnosed can come to and learn about AD and how they and families can deal with it. This could be supplemented to Alz.Assoc with a resource list of services. The existence of this should be circulated throughout the Health Care Community.
b. Support Groups: A Place With People where Early Stagers agree to attend with regularity and be open to the public designed for Early Stage offering support, camaraderie and regularity.
c. Volunteer Coordination: We need to put together a central source to find volunteer opportunities for Early Stage AD where they can be directed to do volunteer work in the range of their respective ability.
d. Structured Wage Earning Workgroups: Something comparable to Sheltered Workshops for Early Onset AD’s to provide both work and wage when they have lost their jobs, still need gainful employment. Not everyone has disability insurance and not all disability insurance is enough. Social security can take two years to get if at all.
e. Creative Programs: To Stimulate the Minds and Prolong Early Stagers in Early Stage. These need to be structured in such a way that they are social, creative, intellectually stimulating and such to capture a person still functional and in need of more than the distraction afforded by most day care programs.
These are some of my ideas. We need the organizations to promote and help organize this.