EWTN Global Catholic Network will air a new television series called, “When the Diagnosis is Dementia” February 4-8 on “Women of Grace” hosted by Johnnette Benkovic. The shows, which air Monday-Friday at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Central Time, feature Birmingham author and radio personality, Ellen Marie Edmonds; clinical psychologist, Dr. Jacqueline DeMarco of Mountain Brook; and neuropsychologist, Dr. DeLisa West of West Neuropsychology at Princeton Baptist Medical Center.
While the series addresses multiple aspects of Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases, there is particular focus on the psychological and relational impacts to the patient, family members, and caregivers. Topics include identifying signs of dementia disease, cognitive testing and assessment, behavioral challenges, care options, grief management, role and relationship changes, the importance of faith, and the need for good support programs.
Edmonds, host of the radio show “Embracing Alzheimer’s in Mind and Heart” lost her husband Frank Edmonds to vascular dementia triggered by a head injury in an auto accident. She describes the journey of dementia disease from a family and caregiver perspective, presenting challenges and solutions for embracing the disease. Her book, “Embracing Dementia-A Call to Love” published by DeetBrari LLC is in over 21 countries.
Dr. West specializes in outpatient cognitive testing of patients who have experienced head injury, stroke, or other neurological disorders that can affect cognitive function and the patient’s need for specialized care, whether permanent or temporary. Dr. DeMarco specializes in clinical psychology, and addresses some of the unique family challenges of dementia diseases, including behavioral issues, relationship changes, the grief factor, and managing stress.
Dementia disease can attack different areas of the brain, resulting in a variety of cognitive and physical changes including memory loss and reasoning decline. In the US alone, nearly 7 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementia disease. Most cases of dementia are diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Worldwide, there are about 30 million people with Alzheimer’s disease. For each diagnosis of dementia, an average of 9 more people are directly affected.
In response to the growing need in the Diocese of Birmingham, the United for Life Foundation and Knights of Columbus Council 9676 jointly began an “Alzheimer’s Awareness & Support Program” for those wanting to know more about dementia disease and/or to join a support group. The group meets at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church on Hwy 119 at 5:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. The program, developed by Edmonds, consists of her book, facilitator and participant guides, and an audio discussion series. For information about starting a program in a parish or other organization, visit online at www.UnitedForLifeFoundation.org or call 205 969-0771. For EWTN info, visit www.ewtn.com; for dementia info visit www.EmbracingDementia.com