Q&A with The Bridge Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center

What is your organization and purpose?

The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center is a non-profit organization, formerly called the Alzheimer’s Agency of Shreveport/Bossier. The name was changed to better illustrate our local mission.

Our mission is to provide resources, education, and support services for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; their family members and their caregivers in the local area; as well as to promote awareness in the community.

Our vision is to “Create a community where no one affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia makes the journey alone.”

What are the Alzheimer’s stats nationwide?

Nationwide, more than 6 million people, age 65 and over, are living with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to increase 20% by 2025.

How many people are affected by Alzheimer’s in our area?

The Center for Brain Health at LSU Health, Shreveport estimates over 85,000 people are affected by Alzheimer’s within a 75-mile radius of Shreveport.

What is your organization doing to help this community?

We are working diligently and with urgency to address the unmet needs of people in Northwest Louisiana affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We help by assessing individual client needs, guiding, and supporting caregivers, responding to requests for help and information, educating the public, providing resources, and overall helping to navigate the care system.

What services do you provide?

We have care navigators to help you through the journey and a Licensed Professional Counselor for one-on-one meetings or to talk with family members. We offer memory screenings, monthly education workshops, fun and engaging activities for caregivers and their loved ones with dementia, a printed and online local resource directory, and assistance in legal matters. We teach families how to maintain dignity of their loved ones and help nurture relationships throughout the disease process. We have a speaker’s bureau for education and training for civic groups, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations. We also facilitate caregiver support groups in the community.

Tell us more about the caregiver support groups.

Support groups are vital to the caregiver. It’s an opportunity for the caregiver to express their emotions in a non-judgmental way. Caregivers learn that they are not going through this journey alone and they have a peer group that knows exactly what each other is going through. Groups meet for an hour once or twice a month – you can attend as many as you need.

Do you have events the public can attend?

The Second Annual Education Conference in Northwest Louisiana, “A Positive Approach to Dementia,” is scheduled for Friday, November 4, from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, Shreveport. The keynote address will be given by a national speaker with the Teepa Snow Foundation, well known in the world of dementia. This conference is the only one of its kind in Northwest Louisiana.

Where are you located?

We are located in the heart of Shreveport at 851 Olive Street. However, we are willing to travel to where we are needed in Northwest Louisiana.

Can you give us some fun tips for improving brain health?

Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominate hand, wear earplugs to experience the world without sound, or learn a new musical instrument or something that is completely new to you.

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