Support group begins Brewton class

Published 4:25 am Monday, August 18, 2008

By By Lydia Grimes – features reporter
A new support group in Brewton is offering screenings to detect early signs of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's Family Services, an affiliate of Covenant Hospice, had its initial meeting last week, when representatives came from Pensacola to meet with those who have concerns about Alzheimers and want to be screened to see if they really have problems.
Kristina and Courtney Cook, the client services coordinator for AFS, plan to come back on a regular basis to do Alzheimer's screening and offer support to the patients.
The group's goals are to provide a safe place to discuss and share problems; learn about Alzheimer's disease; to exchange ideas and gather information; and to share concerns with others who are dealing with the same issues, Robison said. The screenings are free and there is no reservation required.
The group has arranged to have screenings on a regular basis in Brewton and also in Atmore. In Brewton the meetings will be held on the third Tuesday of every month beginning Aug. 19, at the Covenant Hospice office at 2:30 p.m. After that day, the other meetings will be at 10:30 a.m. The Atmore meetings will be held the third Wednesday of every month, with the first to be held Aug. 20 in the conference room of Atmore Hospital.
Some warning signs of Alzheimer's disease are loss of recent memory; short term memory is impaired, but since it is necessary for absorbing information, it soon interferes with the ability to interact socially or perform one's work; judgment is impaired; changes in personality and mood-may become withdrawn, irritable, hostile or show signs of depression; impaired use and understanding of language, including word finding difficulties and word substitutions; perceptual disorders, including the inability to comprehend the meaning of what they see, may lead to inappropriate behaviors; inability to perform basic motor functions, including illegible handwriting and clumsiness in buttoning clothes; and behavior problems, including wandering, pacing, wearing inappropriate clothes, hiding things or getting lost.
Call Alzheimer's Family Services at 1-866-478-7790 toll free or the local Covenant Hospice office at 867-6993.

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