For more than two years, the Family Caregiver Support Program at Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) has been providing social and emotional support to people living with memory loss and their caregivers at the “In the Moment” Memory Café. This monthly event, which meets for two hours on the third Thursday of each month at the Lynn Museum, has been made possible through the generous financial support of DiVirgilio Financial Group. The Lynn-based firm recently announced that it will continue funding the program through a $2,500 donation.
“We all know people whose lives have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” says Brian R. Thomas, president of DiVirgilio Financial Group. “As a community, we need to do whatever we can to support people living with these devastating diseases.” Thomas challenged other local businesses to get involved through financial donations to the program. “A donation to this program is an easy but meaningful way to show your support of this important work.” According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in nine people age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and that number is expected to grow dramatically as the increasing population of baby boomers continues to move into that demographic category.
“Caregiving for someone with memory loss can be very rewarding and one of the most important things a person ever does, but it can also be very frustrating and isolating,” says Debby Segil, LICSW, who directs the Family Caregiver Support Program at GLSS. “The Memory Café provides an opportunity for socialization, networking with others experiencing similar challenges, and a chance for the caregiver and the person they care for to do something together that’s fun and engaging.” Recent program themes have included “Under the Big Top,” with a live circus performer; “Space: The Final Frontier,” featuring a “who’s who” of actors from space movies; and “A Day at the Beach,” a celebration of all things summer. “We offer a variety of activities and projects every month for people of all cognitive and physical abilities,” says Taylor Lamberta, LICSW, the family caregiver support specialist at GLSS, who develops the programming each month. The memory café regularly attracts as many as 30 guests.
We cannot thank DiVirgilio Financial Group enough for the tremendous support of—and vote of confidence in—our work,” Segil says. “Their funding has allowed us to build an amazing program that has really had a positive impact on the lives of people living with memory loss and their caregivers, many of whom have formed strong bonds and friendships.” She also thanked the Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts, which provides use of their facilities at no cost. “We are so lucky to have such a beautiful and welcoming space for our program,” Segil adds.
The Family Caregiver Support Program at GLSS provides free support to caregivers in Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott. Currently, the program offers information; referrals to services; one-on-one and family counseling; multiple support groups in our area; home safety assessments; and trainings and educational programs for caregivers.
To learn more about the “In the Moment Memory Café” or about caregiver supports offered by GLSS, call 781-586-8511 or e-mail [email protected].