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Bartlett resident combats Alzheimer's by founding support group

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 6:00 a.m. CST

BARTLETT – Patricia McWilliams, a resident of Clare Oaks Senior Living in Bartlett, is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

However, she refuses to let the disease affect her positive attitude.

“People are afraid once they’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and so are their family members and caregivers,” McWilliams said in a news release from Clare Oaks.

“But the more we share, the greater the chance for change in daily circumstances of how we live our lives and for a cure.”

McWilliams established a support group for her fellow residents who are also facing Alzheimer’s, according to the release. Meetings for residents in the early stages of the disease will begin Nov. 13 and continue on the second Wednesday of every month.

Clare Oaks is also offering educational meetings for caregivers of those with memory loss, the release said.

“We’ve definitely identified a need that continues to grow in our local community,” Deacon Larry Migliorato, chaplain and spiritual care coordinator for The Assisi Health Care Center at Clare Oaks, said in the release. “Our support group offers a forum where caregivers can share their challenges and unburden themselves. In doing this, they can find strength.”

The Dementia Caregiver Support Group is open to the public. Meetings are held at 2:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month starting Nov. 13 in the Card Room of Clare Oaks Commons.

Attendance is free, but reservations are appreciated.

For more information about Clare Oaks, call 630-372-1983.

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