Alzheimers Coachella Valley (ACV), the new community-based nonprofit organization now open at the Berger Foundation Center, launched a new innovative support group called “Traveling the Journey Together.”

The first-of-its kind program includes both the person diagnosed with dementia and the care-partner. The eight-week series is facilitated by Edie Keller, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and co-founder of Alzheimers Coachella Valley, and Cindi Crist, R.C.F.E., aging and memory care specialist and director of New Connections.

Format of the program features highly qualified guest speakers who present a different topic each week which both care-partner and patient attend. Then each meets in their own support groups with facilitators, followed by a social gathering together. This series will feature the following speakers:

  • Dr. Clifton Cole, a hospice and palliative medicine specialist from Loma Linda University, talking about “Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia.”
  • Dr. Felipe Espinoza of Desert Medical Imaging, a specialist in neuroradiology, discussing “Imaging & Diagnosing Types of Dementia.”
  • Heidi Charette, R.C.F.E., an administrator at Windsor Court in Palm Springs, addresses “Mind, Body & Spirit.”
  • Palm Desert attorney Monica Amboss, who specializes in estate planning, trusts and elder law, will give information and takeaways on “Planning Ahead.”
  • Dom Calvano, community consultant with Custom Care Solutions and ACV board president, gives advice on “What You Need to Know about In-Home Help.”
  • UCI Mind Education volunteer, Steve O’Leary, an Alzheimer’s disease advocate, shares “Successful Strategies through the Journey.”

The series concludes with participants sharing their experiences in “Traveling the Journey Together.” While this series is full with eight couples, there is a waiting list for the next Journey Together program. Participants must be pre-evaluated by the facilitators to ensure that this program is appropriate for the patient.

Alzheimers Coachella Valley is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office is staffed by trained volunteers who can respond to callers and drop-in visitors with information and care advisor referrals for further support. During after-hours and weekends, phones are answered by on-call staff.

Alzheimers Coachella Valley, formed by a group of concerned local volunteers, is dedicated to improving community health by providing needed professional and peer-led programs for persons diagnosed with cognitive impairment, their care-partners and families. One hundred percent of monies raised in the Coachella Valley remains in the community to fill an ever-growing need for programs such as ongoing caregiver support groups; “Breathing Space,” scholarship dollars for temporary care while a caregiver attends an ACV program; and “Traveling the Journey Together.”  ACV also has qualified speakers available to talk to business and community organizations; and state-approved Continuing Education Unit courses for professional caregivers.

Please join us and meet the team at our first fundraiser being held March 23, 5 p.m., at PIRCH in Rancho Mirage. For more information, please see our ad on this page.

Alzheimers Coachella Valley is located in the Berger Foundation Center, 42600 Cook Street, Ste. 125. For more information, call (760) 776.3100.

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