The Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, a program of the Central Texas Council of Governments, is slated to host a series of support groups in Bell County after partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association for the first time.
In Texas, about 400,000 people aged 65 years and older are living with Alzheimer’s, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The meetings will “build a support system with people who understand,” the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, said in a news release. “Alzheimer’s Association support groups … are a safe place for people living with dementia and their partners to develop a support system, exchange practical information on challenges and possible solutions, talk through issues and ways of coping, and share feelings, needs and concerns.”
These meetings — facilitated by trained professionals — are scheduled to be 10-11 a.m. on the first Friday of each month at the Temple Public Library, 100 W. Adams Ave in Temple; 1-2 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month at the Central Texas Council of Governments building, 2180 N. Main St. in Belton; and 6-7 p.m. the first Monday of each month at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1018 S. Seventh St. in Temple.
“We are truly excited and look forward to serving those who are caregivers for family and friends with Alzheimer’s,” Theresa Mireles, a coordinator with the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, said.
Mireles — who encourages residents to share the meeting times with friends, co-workers and family members — has a vision of implementing these same support groups in Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, Mills and San Saba counties.
“Living with Alzheimer’s or caring for loved ones with dementia brings demands and may feel overwhelming,” according to the Central Texas Aging, Disability and Veterans Resource Center. “Too much stress affects your health and ability to function. Finding ways to reduce caregiver stress will help lessen the long-term emotional and physical toll of care giving.”
Mireles said residents can access information online at aaact.org or by calling her at 254-770-2346.