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Local support group offers care for the caregivers

A local support group is working to provide resources to both those diagnosed with Alzheimer's and the people who care for them.

Posted: Jan 29, 2020 3:05 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 10:56 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Right now, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. There is no treatment to cure, delay or stop the progression of the disease.

Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Not only does Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impact those diagnosed with the disease, it also greatly impacts their caregivers, which are often times immediate family.

Keith Drahn became the primary caregiver for his wife Mary when she was first diagnosed about nine years ago. He says that as the disease progressed, he truly began to feel the impact.

"A warm, loving woman who was a child magnet — preschoolers were always attracted to her," Drahn said, describing Mary before her diagnosis. "She reached a point where her anger would come out a couple of times a day, getting up at 2:30 in the morning. Someone said 'you really need to go to a support group.'"


RELATED: Alzheimer's Walk in Medford raises more than $71,000


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 60 percent of caregivers pass away before the people they care for. For family members caring for their loved ones, the stress from caregiving and grief can impact overall health; not to mention the emotional toll it can take to walk through memory loss with someone you love.

"We did our best to keep her at home . . . even with family there, it just reached a point where I could see that my health was diminishing and I need to do something different," said Drahn.

As a response to fill the need for support, the Medford Senior Center Support Group meets regularly. The group is for caregivers and those who have been diagnosed. The room is divided so that each group can speak freely and receive support.

"The group pointed me to some resources for respite care for a time before we finally placed her," said Drahn. "So information, encouragement, wisdom — all of those things were very helpful and I'd be lost without them."

You can join this support group by contacting Jerry Hauck at 541-261-3578 or Marya Kain at 541-601-5341.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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