Alzheimer’s Association enjoying new Ashwaubenon location
By Ben Rodgers
ASHWAUBENON – The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin Chapter is enjoying its new location in Ashwaubenon.
Located at 3313 S. Packerland Drive it provides easier accessibility, more visibility and more space to better serve people affected by Alzheimer’s in Wisconsin.
“This new space is important to us as it allows us more visibility, larger meeting spaces to host committee and volunteer meetings and increased accessibility for those utilizing and supporting our services,” said Laurie Schill, executive director.
The group provides services to people affected by Alzheimer’s in 52 Wisconsin counties.
Those services include support groups, family education programs, and a 24/7 helpline, for anyone with questions about the disease.
The executive board and numerous volunteer committees also met at the new location.
In 2017 in Wisconsin there were close to 110,000 people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s. This means there were close to 193,000 unpaid caregivers who gave 219 million hours of time for unpaid care.
Because no one plans on their loved one getting the disease, dealing with it as a primary caregiver can be both physically and mentally exhausting.
That’s where the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin Chapter comes in.
“You can’t just handle it alone as a caregiver,” said Abbe Klein, marketing manager. “You need to develop a care team to give you support throughout the experience.”
Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease and is the sixth leading cause of death in Wisconsin, and also the most expensive.
The Greater Wisconsin Chapter offers support groups for caregivers and different classes for families to gain education about the disease. Those classes include recognizing the signs, getting your loved one tested, how to communicate effectively, planning for future finances, legal matters, and long term living options.
“It’s basically having a conversation customized to the person who calls,” said Melissa Huempfner, development specialist.
The association is headquartered in Ashwaubenon but has offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Rhinelander.
In order to support the offered services the group holds numerous events throughout the year as fundraisers. All of the money raised goes to local care and support services as well as research.
“Ninety percent of what we know about Alzheimer’s we learned in the last 15 years, so it’s a very young breadth of research,” Huempfner said.
The Rivals powderpuff game where it’s blondes vs brunettes will be on May 12 in Green Bay and on May 18 in Eau Claire.
Rhythm and Brews, an event with music and beer tasting will be April 13 in Wausau.
The Purple Gala will be held May 31 at the Fox Cities PAC in Appleton. The event will feature a beer tasting along with a formal dinner, auction and presenters.
Other events are planned throughout the year as well.
The association also educates state and nationally elected officials on the effects the disease has families as well as the economy.
The Medicaid costs of caring for people in Alzheimer’s in 2017 was $687 million.
The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin Chapter wants people to remember they are not in the fight alone and resources are available.
For more information on events and to stay up to date with course offerings follow Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin Chapter on Facebook.
People can also sign up for email updates at alz.org/gwwi.
The 24/7 helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-272-3900.