NewsGreat Falls News


Forum focuses on helping Alzheimer's patients and families

Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 30, 2024

The Alzheimer's Association of Montana was at the Great Falls Public Library on Tuesday to educate the community on tools and resources for dealing with the disease.

Melanie Williams, the program director for the Montana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, presented throughout the workshop on tips and tools for living with dementia.

“We focus a lot on care and support for caregivers and those living with dementia [and] also really advocating for early diagnosis to put more interventions in place,” said Williams.

One of the many things they are educating on is the lack of awareness and support for those living with the disease in Montana.

“Our drive is living well with dementia, so even when somebody is diagnosed, not just saying it's a horrible disease to be diagnosed with, but how can we live well with it? How can we provide support,” Williams added.

There are a variety of resources available for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias as well as their families and caregivers.

“We have a helpline available 24/7, it’s staffed with master level clinicians, they're phenomenal. They understand dementia, they're kind, they're caring, they're available any time of the day or night. I've called them with my own mom, and they're just remarkable,” said Williams.

The number for the 24/7 helpline is 800-272-3900.

The Montana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association hosts several fundraising opportunities each year to continue to raise funds to support the cause.

They host a variety of fundraising events and opportunities throughout the year to raise money to support the cause and their research efforts. Some upcoming events are listed below:

June 20: The Longest Day
September 14: The Walk to End Alzheimer’s

“September 14th is the Great Falls ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’ at Gibson Park. That's our biggest fundraiser in the state,” Williams said. “It's also a day not only to fundraise, but to honor those that are caregivers, to honor those that we've lost to the disease, to support people who are caregiving, and just really bring awareness to the disease and the impact that it has on our community.”