August 14, 2016

As our population ages, more families are left coping with a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia. Recent statistics indicate that 1 in 8 adults over the age of 65 has at least some findings of dementia, and the prevalence rate balloons to HALF of people over the age of 85. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

Dementia is an umbrella term describing a variety of diseases and conditions that develop when nerve cells in the brain lose normal function. These cell changes affect memory, behavior, personality, clear thinking and the ability safely care for oneself. Eventually these brain changes impair an individual’s ability to perform even basic bodily functions, such as personal hygiene, dressing and eating.

Given the loss of self-care, family members are needed to help. Because loved ones are often not aware of how much dementia is affecting them, discussions surrounding driving, finances and staying at home can be delicate and difficult. Care needs can progress from intermittent in-home assistance to 24/7 total care. Dramatic changes in behavior often leave family caregivers feeling afraid or powerless.

We encourage you to talk to your doctor about dementia and care issues that your family is confronting. Medications are available to help with depression, aggression and memory, but they will never restore a person fully to their former self. Please remember that you are not alone; numerous support organizations offer help – both in person and over the phone.

Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 help line: 1-800-272-3900

Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter Caregiver Support Groups:


Cathedral of the Rockies

717 N. 11th Street

Boise, ID 83702

1st & 3rd Thursday, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Jim Clayton


Willow Park Assisted Living

2600 N. Milwaukee

Boise, ID 83704

2nd & 4th Thursday, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Linda Arends/Joanne Franklin


Cathedral of the Rockies #2

717 N. 11th Street

Boise, ID 83702

2nd Tuesday, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Amy Leavitt


West Boise

Overland Court Senior Living

10250 W. Smoke Ranch Dr.

Boise, ID 83709

2ndWednesday, 6:00 pm

Cheri Kantola/Pam Wilkerson



Paramount Assisted Living

815 N. Eagle Road

Eagle, ID 83616

2ndWednesday, 3:00 pm

Susan Ness


Eagle Public Library

100 N. Sherman Way

Eagle, ID 83616

2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 2:00 pm

Sara Kolnes



Home Instead

55 W. Willowbrook Drive, Suite 101

Meridian, ID 83646

3rd Thursday, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Mike & Geneva Powell



Kuna Public Library

457 Locust Ave.

Kuna, ID 83634

1st Wednesday, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Lisa Underwood



Church of the Brethren

11030 W. Orchard Avenue

Nampa, ID 83651

2ndWednesday, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Walt Miller



Autumn Wind

200 W. Beech Street

Caldwell, ID 83605

2nd Tuesday, 1:30 pm

Sherry Smith