Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Memphis

Ruthann Shelton, Executive Director

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Memphis, Inc. offers a resource of community-based support for families that can prevent, divert or delay the need for institutionalized care and its associated financial and emotional costs.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Memphis, Inc. is a local, non-profit organization established in January 1983 for the purpose of operating a therapeutic activity day program for persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Memphis, Inc. operates two dementia-specific adult day centers: Kennedy Park Center at 4585 Raleigh LaGrange inside Kennedy Park and Dorothy’s Place at 3185 Hickory Hill Road. Both centers are licensed by the Department of Human Services of the State of Tennessee.  These centers give assistance to “Friends” and their families. Ruthann Shelton, the Executive Director of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services of Memphis explains, “we call those who come and spend the day with us, our friends. They’re not patients. They’re not clients. They’re our friends. And the people who care for them are best friends”.

Dealing with COVID – In a normal situation, we have eight support groups a month at our two centers, and we always encourage families to come to support group. The new scenario, we’re going to actually look at Zoom and having support groups by computer or iPad. We are keeping to a minimum who comes in the center who’s not one of our friends or one of the families. We are continuing our Carelines, which is our monthly newsletter, and during these past 10 weeks, we have sent activities to families for them to do at home so that the friends would stay engaged and still try to do activities appropriate for their level.

How can you help?  Our wish list always has items on it that you could drop off at the center. We love volunteers. Unfortunately, right now we can’t accept volunteers, but when we can normalize a little bit more, we’d love for somebody to come and be a buddy to somebody who needs a little extra loving care that day.

The big thing is we don’t have to be separated in, in the disease, and the more the family see that this is not their loved one being stubborn or manipulative, but part of the disease process and the more they see that other people are going through the same things, the easier it will be for them. 

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