Alzheimer’s Support- Did You Know?

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By Mia Freneaux

    After attending Judy Garwood’s book reading Saturday, I became aware of a wonderful resource available to caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients.  Barbara Auten, herself the child of parents with the disease, is executive director of a respite care center in Baton Rouge called Charlie’s Place.  It is a program for those with early stage Alzheimer’s and related disorders, where they can socialize, receive music therapy, armchair exercise, therapeutic cooking and pet therapy.  They also can participate in field trips and community service projects.  The mission of Charlie’s Place is to “Make a significant difference in the lives of those coping with Alzheimer’s disease in our community.”  The support they offer caregivers and the information that they make available are unprecedented in our city. Barbara had several stories of the lives the organization has touched, one detailing how a man brought his totally non-responsive father to Charlie’s Place.  After just a few weeks, the father was participating and social.  His son came and thanked the folks at Charlie’s Place for giving him back his father.

    Located at 3772 North Boulevard, they are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Their help line is 1-800-548-1211, office phone 334-7494.  Check out their informative website at  Help someone you know who may be struggling with caring for a loved one suffering from this terrible disease and let them know that hope and help are available for them.  When asked what Charlie’s Place needed most, Barbara responded – “We need ambassadors to GET THE WORD OUT!” 

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