Convalescent center begins memory care support group

Bill Nachman - Posted on Jun 01, 2011 - 03:37 PM

Walter Reed Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center in Gloucester recently started a Memory Care Support Group.

The support group is open to relatives and friends of persons of all ages who experience memory loss, said administrator Erik Buckley. Persons who want to benefit from the group do not have to have relatives residing at the facility.

Memory loss may be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, a brain injury or by other factors, Buckley said. Although many people think that only the elderly suffer memory loss, a number of younger people experience that condition too because of blows received playing sports.

Buckley said Walter Reed has 23 beds in its Memory Care Unit, which opened last fall. The unit is secure, with special doors and locks, so that residents who tend to wander cannot get loose as they might at home.

Darlene Deal of Adner, said she gains strength by talking things out at the support group. Deal said it was difficult to admit her husband, James, into the Memory Care Unit last fall, but she is glad she did.

Dana Morris, a social worker at Walter Reed, coordinates the support group. Approximately a half-dozen people have been attending the group, and she thinks many other family members and friends of those with memory loss could benefit from the frank discussions and outpourings of support.

The group meets at 10 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located on Meredith Drive in Gloucester. Guest speakers may be brought in from time to time. For more information, call Morris at 693-6503.