Local help for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It’s an attempt to spread information about what has now become America’s sixth-leading cause of death.

The Alzheimer’s Association wants U.P. residents to know that support is available locally. The group is partnering with the YMCA of Marquette County, the Marquette General Brain and Spine Center and Community Care at Lake Superior Hospice.

“We have a program called LiveWISE for people with early–stage Alzheimer’s and their caregivers,” Alzheimer’s Association U.P. region director Ruth Almen said. “We’re going to be starting a third class of that in January, and we’re looking to expand that around the U.P.”

LiveWISE combines Alzheimer’s education with exercise in a small group setting. The Alzheimer’s Association says there at least 7,900 people in the U.P. living with the disease.

“We want people to have a chance to make decisions about their own lives, to get support from their families and for their families to get support,” Almen said. “But we also know the few medications and treatments that are available to kind of prolong your functioning level work best the earlier you start with them.”

Anyone interested in the return of the Live Wise program can contact the Alzheimer’s Association at (906) 228-3910 or the YMCA of Marquette County at (906) 227-9622.