Weekly Feature



2009-01-07 / Lifestyles

Early-stage dementia support group seeking new members

by KELLY JACKSON Reporter

Lisa Theurer, right, Family Services coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association, walks and talks with one of the group participants. The Alzheimer's Walking Support Group, also known as Memory Movers at the Mall, meets at 11 a.m. every Wednesday at the Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road, to take an easy walk around the mall while sharing stories. Lisa Theurer, right, Family Services coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association, walks and talks with one of the group participants. The Alzheimer's Walking Support Group, also known as Memory Movers at the Mall, meets at 11 a.m. every Wednesday at the Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road, to take an easy walk around the mall while sharing stories. Members of the Memory Movers at the Mall, a support group for people experiencing early-stage dementia and their caretakers, invite others to join them every Wednesday at 11 a.m. for a walk around the Eastern Hills Mall while sharing stories with others in the group.

"It alleviates their stress. Walking is something everyone can do, and it stimulates every part of you. There's the visual and the auditory aspects, and it enhances the quality of life," said Lisa Theurer, Family Services coordinator of the Alzheimer's Association, WNY Chapter.

While many other support groups exist, Theurer said this one is the most active, with the alleviation of stress being the most important benefit, especially for the caregiver.

"For every person with dementia, it takes one to four caregivers to take care of them," said Theurer.

Meeting weekly to stroll around the mall not only provides an opportunity to exercise but also gives each member the chance to meet someone facing similar difficulties in dealing with the disease.

Theurer wanted to stress that this is something that will benefit a person suffering from dementia only if that person wants to be there.

"Come give it a try. There's no obligation. See what you think," said Theurer.

The group meets at the security desk inside the mall, 4545 Transit Road.

Joining the group does not require a fee, but it does mandate a preregistration interview.

For more information, call Theurer at the Alzheimer's Association's WNY Chapter office, 626-0600.

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