A program of Home Instead Senior Care Foundation

Dementia Support Northwest

Bellingham, Washington

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Dementia affects more than just the person who has been diagnosed; family, friends and neighbors are impacted as well. Dementia Support Northwest (DSNW) is here to help anyone whose life has been touched by dementia. Remember, you are not alone!

We offer the following programs:

Staying Connected Program (once a week) - This program provides a safe environment for individuals with dementia to socialize. Class size is limited to ten individuals with early dementia, and they meet weekly, under the supervision of a facilitator trained in dementia. The program creates an accepting and comfortable environment for the participants to receive cognitive, physical, and social interaction with others.

Round Table (once a week) - This program is for people with mild cognitive impairment and those in the early stages (1-2) of dementia. This groups focuses on meaningful discussion and other activities that foster cognitive health.

Tuesday Talks (once a week) - This program is for people who are in the mid-stages (3-5) of dementia who will continue to thrive with the benefits that meaningful socialization can bring to those who are progressing through the disease.

Caregiver Support Groups (7 per month) - We offer four support groups for the care partner. This group gives the opportunity to talk with other individuals who are facing some of the same problems.

Adult Child Support Group (1 per month) - We offer a support group specifically for adult children caring for a parent.

Care Partner Support Groups (4 per month) - Our Care Partner Support Groups are dual component support groups that are held at the same time and location; one is for caregivers and the other is for the individuals with early stage memory loss. Simultaneous support groups give the caregivers a respite, while they learn more about the condition they're dealing with, and share their experience with others facing similar challenges. It gives those experiencing dementia a safe space to socialize with others who are living the same types of conditions.

Memory Screening - Memory screening make sense for anyone concerned about memory loss or may be experiencing warning signs of dementia. Screenings are free, confidential. Screenings are provided by appointment.

Project Lifesaver - Project Lifesaver is designed to provide a safety net for the most vulnerable citizens in our community. Each person is provided a one-ounce electronic bracelet that emits a unique radio signal 24 hours a day. When a client wanders anywhere in Whatcom County, a call to 911 by the caregiver will trigger a rapid response by a specialized team within the Whatcom County Sheriff's Department. ASW provides four training programs per year for volunteers, and also provides certification for local law enforcement officials. Client batteries are changed quarterly ( or sooner if need be) by ASW support staff. This program is overseen by a former member of Search and Rescue.

Educational Conference -- We recognize the individuality of caregivers, the diversity of their caregiving situations and the range of their needs. The program is designed to provide unpaid caregivers with the training they need, when they need it, so they may continue in their caregiving roles. Additionally, it provides education to healthcare professionals that include continuing education (CEU) credits. We recruit professional instructors from around the country, as well as from our local scientific community.

HEAD Talks -- We offer a quarterly educational speaker series called HEAD Talks (Health Education About Dementia).

Dementia 101 Training: Customized training for community organizations, assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities, and training/work placement organizations.

Community Facilitator Training: A course designed to train people within diverse communities to conduct self-sustaining support groups with the quality that DSNW is known for.


I was talking with a friend the other day and she was telling me about a client of hers that was beside herself regarding her mother-in-law. It seems her mother-in-law has dementia, likely Alzheimer's, and had been home on her own for too long. She and her husband tried moving her mother-in-law in with them and it lasted less than 24 hours as the mother was unhappy and the husband felt angry at his mother's responses. They moved her back to her house and had since been accused of misplacing or taking her items. I gave my friend some resources to contact and said first and foremost they should reach out to the Alzheimer's Society. The next visit my friend's client was in tears, stating that they went to one of your support groups and it changed their lives. She said, "we now have hope - something we didn't have before." So, thank you, thank you, thank you for all you and everyone at the Alzheimer's Society does every day to help those with dementia and their families!!


Jolie McGrath
Community Choice Guide


Dementia Support Northwest's purpose is to reach persons and families affected by Alzheimer's and other dementia-related diseases with support, knowledge and resources to empower them. We desire to bring awareness to our society with an understanding of the overwhelming devastation caused by the dementias.
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