Our Families with Memory Loss

Senior Access

By Dana Pepp and Jim Ward

Everyone knows someone with dementia. It is estimated that up to 8,000 adults in Marin County are currently diagnosed with memory loss, and that number is growing rapidly as our population ages.

Luckily, Marin has various supports for families with memory loss: two high-quality adult day programs — Marin Adult Day Health Center and Senior Access — as well as many home care providers, including JFCS, that provide dementia care.

We say “families with memory loss,” because this journey really does affect the whole family, including friends and neighbors. In a recent survey, we asked respondents how many people are affected by their loved one’s memory loss. One caregiver responded: 24. Twenty-four people directly affected by one person’s diagnosis and journey into memory loss!

This journey is really challenging! There are lots of unknowns: daily ups and downs, plenty of stress and loss, but also plenty of laughs. At Senior Access, we support the caregivers by providing daily respite and support groups. We support clients by creating a loving, fun, engaging, social, and stimulating environment. We have created a program and a culture in which love, respect, compassion, and fun are valued.

Senior Access’ day programs as well as other family support services help loved ones age in place for as long as possible. The challenge we often face is that many families wait a long time — too long — to connect with respite and support services. Denial, resistance, and feeling that a loved one isn’t “old enough” or “ready enough” are common refrains. But the sooner families can connect with support services, the better for all involved.

The community-based programs and medical providers in Marin strive to work collaboratively to provide families with a menu of opportunities for loved ones. We meet quarterly to share best practices, build relationships, and streamline referrals. Through the Family Caregiver Support Program, administered by the Alzheimer’s Association, clients are provided free opportunities to try various support services throughout Marin. There are also currently researchers in Marin, including Drs. Bredesen and Ornish, working on lifestyle protocols to prevent and reduce symptoms of dementia.

Next time you speak with a friend, neighbor, or family member who is concerned about memory loss, please encourage them to visit their doctor for a neurological exam. And know that there are plenty of supports in Marin County for families with dementia.

Senior Access is celebrating 45 years supporting families with memory loss in Marin County. Please check out our video and website at www.senioraccess.org.

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The Savvy Caregiver: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Training

6 Thursdays | June 15, 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20 | Jewish Family & Children’s Services | 600 5th Avenue San Rafael CA | 1:30pm to 3:30pm | FREE

Alzheimer's Association Flyer - Savvy Caregiver

This six-week program is about the what and how of caregiving. It is built around two ideas:
1. You probably never expected to be a caregiver.
2. And…you never trained for the role.


The Program

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is a specialty requiring specific skills and an attitude that contributes to the well being of both the caregiver and the person with the disease. This program, co-sponsored by Seniors At Home, a division of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, enables caregivers to develop a sense of control and mastery within the caregiving role.

Based on research by experts in caregiving techniques, this 6-week course will provide clinical-level training for family caregivers. Participants will graduate with personal knowledge and skills to assess abilities of their loved one with dementia; confidence to set and alter caregiving goals; strategies to manage activities of daily living; and perspective on the course of Alzheimer’s and related disorders.

NOTE: Registration is necessary and attendance at all sessions is required.

To download the registration form, click here.

For more information, call the Alzheimer’s Association at 415-472-4340.

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11th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Education Conference

Friday June 16, 2017 | 8:30am to 4:00pm | Rohnert Park CA | Tickets Required |

The North Bay Offices of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California & Northern Nevada presents its eleventh annual education conference in Sonoma County. Alzheimer’s Disease: Continuum of Care XI is a day-long conference for family members and professionals (continuing education units are available) that covers many topics relating to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

David Troxel, MPH, co-author of Best Friend’s Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
Elizabeth Landsverk, MD, Elderconsult Geriatric Medicine
Viki Kind, MA, Clinical Bioethicist
Claire Day, Chief Program Officer, Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California & Northern Nevada

To download the flyer, click here.

Registration Rates:
Early Bird – on or before May 19
General Registration $45.00
Professionals requesting CEUs $90.00
After May 19
General Registration $50.00
Professionals requesting CEUs $95.00
Fees include continental breakfast & lunch. Six (6)
Continuing Education Units are available in the following
Registered Nurse Provider #CEP12415
LCSW/LMFT Provider #PCE1121
RCFE Administrator/NHAP Application Pending

To download the registration form, click here. See page two.

For more information, call the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900 OR 707-573-1210.

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Special One Day Class for Dementia Caregivers

Friday April 28, 2017 | Family Caregiver Alliance and the Alzheimer’s Association present:

There Must Be a Better Way Than This!


At this class, you’ll learn tips and strategies for understanding and communicating with someone affected by dementia. You’ll also learn:
 How to handle difficult behaviors
 How dementia affects a person’s ability to understand and communicate
 How to feel more confident in your caregiving role

DATES/TIME: Friday April 28, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Alzheimer’s Association
4340 Redwood Highway
Suite F138
San Rafael, CA 94903


Amanda Hartrey, LMFT, Family Consultant
Family Caregiver Alliance

TO REGISTER: Contact Amanda Hartrey at 415-434-3388 ext. 334. Feel free to leave a message with your name, number, and the name of this workshop. Pre-registration is required. Group size is limited and please let us know if you have a disability and require assistance. We regret to inform you that we are unable to accommodate professional caregivers at this event.

To download the flyer, click here.


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The Latino Family: Alzheimer’s Caregiver and Wellness Forum

Alzheimer y Demencia en Familias Latinas Foro Educativo Para Cuidadores

Saturday February 4, 2017 | 8:30 am – 1:00 pm| Free | Registration is recommended | Petaluma Community Center | 320 N. McDowell Boulevard | Petaluma CA

La Asociación de Alzheimer, en colaboración con UCSF Memory and Aging Center, presenta “Alzheimer y Demencia en Familias Latinas – Foro Educativo Para Cuidadores”, ofrecido por la primera vez en español.

The Alzheimer’s Association, in partnership with UCSF Memory and Aging Center, presents its first education conference “The Latino Family: Alzheimer’s Caregiver and Wellness Forum,” conducted entirely in Spanish.


  • Perspectivas Culturales y la Demencia
  • La enfermedad de Alzheimer y otros tipos de demencia
  • Como reconocer y manejar la tensión o estrés de parte de un cuidador
  • Entrevistas y discusión con cuidadores familiares

Program highlights will include:

  • Cultural Perspectives and Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias: What Does the Diagnosis Mean?
  • Caregiver Challenges and Stress Factors: 10 Ways to Reduce Stress
  • Caregiver Panel: Dealing with the Daily Tasks of Caregiving

Para registrar llame 707.573.1210 o por internet.

To register call 707.573.1210 or click here.

Se ofrecerá desayuno y refrescos. 

Breakfast and refreshments will be served.

Descargue el afiche para este evento.

Download the flyer for this event.

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