Caregiver Resource Events

Hello Caregivers!

This Tuesday, May 22nd, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan will be hosting a few events that are open to all caregivers. The first event is the Caregiver Support Group, and is a group offered by Care Services of Evergreen Commons for caregivers who care for someone with dementia. This group is meeting from 3:00-4:00pm at Fellowship Reformed Church (2165 W. Lakewood Blvd, Holland). If you would like to attend, contact the Day Center at Evergreen Commons at (616) 355-5130.

The second event is from 6:00-7:00pm and is the Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Support Group. This group is for caregivers of individuals who have Alzheimer's disease or any level of dementia. This group will take place at Algoma Township Office (10531 Algoma Ave, Rockford). If you would like to attend or have any questions, contact Anna Papke at (616) 745-3101.

For any more information on these events, go to


Family Caregiver University- Long-Term Care Options

Hello Caregivers!

Next Tuesday, May 22, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is holding a class in part of their Community Resources A to Z series. The class is about long-term care options and will include topics of hospital observation vs. admission, assisted living and nursing homes, how to choose a long term care facility, patient choices/rights, as well as caregiver burden/guilt, the right to nursing home discharge, and advocacy and communication strategies. 

If you would like to register, email or call 616-222-7032. There is a $5.00 suggested fee per class that is payable at the door.

Location: Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan                                                                                         3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 

Speakers: Nelly Brower, LBSW – Director of Psychosocial Services, Samaritas                                                     Stephanie Hecksel, LMSW – NFT Outreach Specialist, Area Agency on Aging of                                         Western Michigan                                                                                                                         Kaye Scholle, MSW – Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

If you have any questions, call 616-222-7032 or visit

Pearls for Primary Care

Hello Caregivers!

This Wednesday, May 16, Pine Rest is holding their last lecture in their Spring Lecture Series. Pine Rest Medical Director Dr. David Folks will present his lecture Management of Insomnia in Older Adults at the Pine Rest Postma Center from 7-8 a.m. CMEs and CEUs are offered and a free breakfast will be provided. The lecture is free, and if you would like to attend, register using this link.

Pine Rest Postma Center is located at 300 68th St. SE, Grand rapids.

Insomnia is a common challenge for older adults and can have significant impact on overall health. Attendees will learn how to do a comprehensive assessment of both transient and chronic insomnia in older adults. This lecture will also cover the steps in treating insomnia in older adults including non-pharmacologic approaches, and the clinically appropriate use of hypnotic medications.



Physical Exercise and Dementia

We have often been told of the benefits of physical exercise on our health, but studies show that exercise also benefits our cognitive health. A recent study done revealed that individuals who were at high levels of physical fitness in middle age reduced their risk of developing dementia later in life by 90%.

Even though this study was small and only worked with women, it still supports the idea that fitness is linked to improved brain health. As we grow older, it is much harder to maintain fitness in our everyday lives, and often seniors will opt out of exercising at all. This doesn't necessarily need to happen; there are plenty of different ways to maintain physical health. Aerobic exercise, flexibility and balance exercise, and resistance training are great ways to continue physical exercise while improving brain health.

To learn more about the relation of physical exercise and dementia, go to this website.