Living with Alzheimer’s program begins Jan. 18 in Rockford

Online Staff Report

The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing and leads to many questions. What will this mean for me and my family? How do I plan for the future? Where can I get the help I need?

“Living with Alzheimer’s: For People with Early Stage Alzheimer’s or Related Dementias” and a simultaneous class, “Living with Alzheimer’s: For Care Partners of the Early Stage Person,” is an interactive three-part program where you will have a chance to hear from others who have been where you are. The class will discuss what you need to know, what you need to plan, and what you can do to navigate this chapter of your life.

The class will be presented from 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesdays, Jan. 18 through Feb. 1 at the Alzheimer’s Association, 1111 S. Alpine Road, Suite 307 in Rockford. The class is free, but pre-registration is required for the three-part sessions. Registration will be accepted up to Jan. 17.

In the United States, an estimated 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and someone develops the disease every 69 seconds. In Illinois, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s is 210,000; the number is expected to increase by 14 percent to 240,000 in the next 15 years.

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow, steady loss of memory, reasoning and other thinking tasks. Eventually, Alzheimer’s kills, but not before it takes everything away from you. It steals a person’s memories, independence and dignity. It robs spouses of lifetime companions and children of parents and grandparents. It destroys the security of families and depletes billions of dollars annually from family and government budgets.

The costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are substantial — and if left unaddressed will bankrupt our state. In Illinois, more than a half-million caregivers contribute more than 659 million hours of unpaid care, at an estimated value of more than $7.8 billion.

For more information or to register, call (815) 484-1300.

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