Support Group Facilitator Training Postponed

Due to the threat of inclement weather, the Support Group Facilitator Training that was scheduled to be held Thursday, February 26, has been postponed. When it has been rescheduled, a date will be announced and previous registrants will be notified. If you would like to learn more about being a support group facilitator, please contact Dee Dee Harris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Peace for the Holidays

By Melanie Bunn, RN, MS, GNP, Dementia Training Specialist

The best of times, the worst of times might well describe the holiday experience of loved ones of people with dementia. With some reflection, planning and flexibility, the balance can be shifted from the worst to the best. Integrate the following suggestions as you plan your holiday events to create memories that bring laughter not tears and help you find joy in the moments.

P   Prioritize

Decide which family traditions are most important and which parts of those are truly meaningful. While the person with dementia may not be able to tolerate the entire ritual, often they can participate in well chosen components.

E   Empathize

View events through the eyes of the person with dementia. Changes in routines and environments can be difficult and frightening. Think about how decorations and events might confuse or be misinterpreted by the person with dementia.

A   Adjust

Consider modifying or simplifying plans. For example, small changes such as changing the time of an event to coincide with the person's best time of day or limiting numbers of people in the environment at any one time might make the experience better for everyone.  Watch for signs of stress or distress and help the person find a place and time to relax and recover.


Record the memories of the person with dementia by encouraging reminiscence and storytelling to preserve family history. Use props like pictures, foods and decorations to trigger forgotten memories. Take candid multi-generational photos or video-they can be more touching and much easier than posed portraits.


Make memories. Don't get so involved in the plans you forget the point of the activity or event. The experience might not be like it used to be, but you can still find the magical moments.

Especially for the person who is grieving: Holidays are difficult when you’re experiencing the loss or the losing of someone you care about. Be patient with yourself as you grieve and find support in comforting rituals and people. Do what’s right for you as you look for new ways to find Peace in the Holidays.


Recent Events

November is a National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Caregivers Month. Join AlzNC at one of the events below as we raise awareness in North Carolina. 

  • November 6, 2014: Our annual Candlelight Reflections Ceremony remembering those we have lost and honoring those curently living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias will be held Thursday, November 6 by the Waterfall at Dorton Arena. The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. Free parking is available using the Gate 2 Entrance off Hillsborough Street. For questions or details, please contact Lisa Levine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call (800) 228-8738. Download the flyer and share it in your community.

  • November 10, 2014:  The 4th Annual Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) Caregiver Education Conference will be held on Monday, November 10th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the McKimmon Center (1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh, NC 27609). Speakers include family caregivers; Dr. Daniel Kaufer,  director of the UNC Memory Disorders Program; Dr. Michael Gold, Vice President/Head CNS Clinical Practice of UCB BioSciences. For more information or to register, download our conference brochure. Question? Contact Lisa Levine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call (800) 228-8738.

  • November 20, 2014: AlzNC is raising awareness at the UNC vs Duke football game on Thursday, November 20, 2014. TIckets can be purchased for $40/person from AlzNC, a $20 savings, and the group will sit with AlzNC in a special section of the stadium. No matter who you support during the game, come support AlzNC! To purchase tickets, contact Richard Hiatt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call (800) 228-8738.

Memory Cafes

Memory Cafes are a great way for individuals with Alzheimer's or other dementias and their caregivers to enjoy good food, music, socializing, and other programs. For more information about scheduling and activities, click here to download the information about Good Shepard Lutheran's Memory Cafe in Raleigh. The Rotary Clubs of Cary have also started a Memory Cafe. Please click here to download information about their cafe.





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