By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Area Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is making a summer push across the region with its "Conversations About Dementia" program.
Representatives from the chapter will also be taking part in a series of specialty programs to help assist caregivers and families of those with the disease.
The "Conversations About Dementia" will target specific Alzheimer's and dementia-related problems.
"This program is designed to help you talk with your family about challenging and often uncomfortable topics concerning Alzheimer's dementia," said Theresa Kuhlmann of the Central Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association that oversees the Quincy office.
An estimated 3,400 people in the region served by the Quincy Area Branch -- Adams, Brown, Pike, Schuyler and Hancock counties -- are afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, a number that is expected to keep growing. There is still no cure for the degenerative brain disease that strikes 50 percent of people 85 and older and 10 percent of those 65 and older.
By 2030, when the U.S. baby-boomer generation is all over age 65, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's will be an estimated 10 million to 11 million, more than double what it is now.
Among the topics that information will be provided for will range from how to receive a proper diagnosis and medical care for a loved one to deciding when it is necessary to have the family member in question stop driving.
Kuhlmann said another important area that will be discussed is how to manage finances and legal documents "to ensure the person's wishes are carried out and the costs of future care are covered."
The specialty programs target mostly caregivers.
"They are designed as a monthly lunch and lecture series," Kuhlmann said. "Topics will deal with issues related to Alzheimer's disease, dementia and aging,"
The Central Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association serves 20 counties in central and West-Central Illinois.
ONVERSATIONS ABOUT DEMENTIA
º July 14: Griggsville City Hall, 108 S. Corey, 10 a.m. to noon.
º Aug. 20: Pike County Health Department, 113 S. Jefferson, 2-4 p.m.
º Aug. 28: Quincy Public Library, 526 jersey, 10 a.m. to noon.
Pre-registration is required by one day prior to the event by calling 800-272-3900.
º "First Fridays" of the month, Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center, 639 York, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
º "Wednesday's Wisdom," starting Sept. 10, Marion Corner Community Room, 320 Walnut, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, go to alz.org or call the branch office at (217) 228-1111.