Wright Center’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Family Support Group Returns to In-person Monthly Meetings

The Wright Center for Community Health’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Family Support Group, a collaborative program with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter, will return to in-person monthly meetings at the Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, beginning Monday, May 2.

The monthly meetings will be held the first Monday of the month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Mid Valley Practice. The professionally led group is for caregivers, individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, family members and others personally affected by the disease.

“Our support group offers comfort and reassurance for those who are living with the disease and individuals who are actively providing care or have loved ones afflicted with it,” said Nicole Lipinski, director of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Geriatric Service Line. “Support groups can also be a good source of practical advice, camaraderie and emotional support for everyone involved in this journey.”

Guests are asked to observe public safety measures due to COVID-19, including masking and social distancing, during the meeting. To register for the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Family Support Group, please call 1-800-272-3900. For more information about The Wright Center, go to TheWrightCenter.org or call 570-230-0019.

The support group falls under the umbrella of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program. The Wright Center is one of only eight health systems in the country to adopt the award-winning model that was created at UCLA. The clinic helps patients and their families with the complex medical, behavioral and social needs of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Advanced practice providers and dementia care specialists collaborate with the patient’s primary care physician to create and implement a personalized care plan that builds in medical needs, solutions for caregiver stress and cultural traditions unique to each individual and their family.

The support group and program are components of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Geriatric Program, recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as an Age-Friendly Health System. The program provides a full spectrum of comprehensive primary health and support services for seniors and serves as a trusted primary health advisor for seniors and their families in support of independent living.

The Wright Center for Community Health’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Family Support Group, a collaborative program with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter, will hold in-person monthly sessions from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month beginning May 2 at the Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn. Call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900 to register.

The Recovery Bank Launches Grief Support Group

The Recovery Bank, a nonprofit peer-driven recovery support center, has announced the launch of a new Grief Support Group for family members and loved ones who have lost someone to drug or alcohol addiction, overdose, or other substance-related deaths. The initial group meeting of GRASP (Grief Recovery Support After a Substance Passing) is scheduled for Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 6:00pm at 120 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton.

“This support group seeks to bring together those who have suffered the unique and extremely painful loss occasioned by overdose and other circumstances, so that they can help each other in their healing process,” said Frank Bolock, Project Director at The Recovery Bank. “Unfortunately, our community has felt far too many of these tragic and untimely deaths, and families often struggle to cope after such a loss,” he continued.

There have been over 500 reported overdose deaths in Lackawanna County since 2014, according to data available from the County Coroner’s Office. Carol Coolbaugh, facilitator of the Luzerne County Chapter of GRASP, and Cara Cali, a Certified Recovery Specialist/Certified Family Recovery Specialist at The Recovery Bank, will guide the initial support group meeting. The support group is free to the public but seating is limited due to COVID safety precautions. Please call The Recovery Bank at (570) 880-7901 to reserve a seat.

“As someone who has personally experienced a loss like this, I understand that there is often a stigma associated with overdose deaths. We may become isolated in our grief, feeling that no one understands our pain. The benefit of a group like GRASP is that we can connect with those who have also lived this loss. We don’t have to walk this road alone,” Cali emphasized.

Visit RecoveryBank.org to learn more.

Geisinger Offers Virtual Support Group for COVID Survivors

Geisinger will offer a free, virtual support group for survivors of COVID-19 beginning May 12.

Geisinger psychologist Erin Hall, Psy.D., will facilitate the group each Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m. Sessions will cover common experiences in recovery from COVID-19 including issues with sleep, memory or concentration; physical challenges; depression and anxiety; concerns about health, future medical care or COVID re-infection; trauma related to illness or hospitalization; and changes to family roles, relationships and friendships. The group will focus on coping strategies and building resilience.

“Recovering from COVID-19 can be a lengthy process, and each person’s experience is different,” said Dr. Hall. “Having a safe space to talk about your experience and challenges, among others with similar struggles, is important in helping people heal and recover. Recovery from COVID-19 is truly both physical and psychological.”

To register, visit geisinger.org/events and search “COVID survivor support group.” Participants can register for each week’s session separately.