'Understanding Alzheimer's' in Marysville April 10

MARYSVILLE - A community gathering on "Understanding Alzheimer's" will take place April 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Marysville.

Alan Bjorn, Care Team Ministry leader for the church, invited Roger Holbrook, suites administrator for Josephine Sunset Home in Stanwood, to present this non-denominational educational program to caregivers, family members and friends of those with Alzheimer's, as well as any other interested parties, at the church.

"It addresses the physical and spiritual challenges people face when caring for someone with this disabling disease," Bjorn said. "It speaks to those who don't know what to do, now that mom or dad isn't doing too well, or how to talk to their kids about it. When I saw Roger put on this talk in Mount Vernon, I told myself that Marysville had to have it too."

Bjorn admitted that he wished he'd been able to benefit from the methods of care taught by Holbrook when he was tending to his own mother.

"She died three years ago, and I feel bad that that I didn't know then what I know now," Bjorn said. "We didn't always get along, and I didn't always understand how to treat her the right way. By understanding Alzheimer's, you learn to work with those who suffer from it, and not to argue with them. You can handle it a bit better."

Bjorn cited statistics for 2009 showing that approximately 110,000 state residents were diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related disorder, and noted that this number could jump to 130,000 by 2020.

"Very few families have not been affected one way or another by a loved one who has suffered from memory loss," Bjorn said.

Due to limited space, Bjorn requested that those who wish to attend call 360-659-2022 by April 9 to register for the event.

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