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Early Stage
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Early Stage Engagement

Early Stage Education Focus Groups

In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, couples and families face new questions and new situations as they adjust. What does the diagnosis mean? What kinds of plans need to be made? What resources are available to help? What can I do now? To help answer these questions and to offer emotional support to couples and families, our chapter offers an Early Stage Focus Group. The Focus Group consists of 8 week sessions with each session lasting approximately an hour and a half. These sessions are devoted to both education and support with a primary emphasis on living life to the fullest while in the early stages of the disease. Sessions include topics such as the basics of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, telling others about the diagnosis, building a care and support team, changing gears and expectations, medication and research, and tools for maintaining independence. Participants must:  
  • Have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another related dementia
  • Know about the diagnosis
  • Have accepted the diagnosis
  • Be able to discuss feelings and experiences related to the disease
  • Have no difficulties beyond the dementia diagnosis of a behavioral, psychiatric, or medical nature that would be disruptive in a group setting or put other members at risk.
Classes in Springfield to begin Tuesday, February 16.   Pre-registration is required to participate in this program. Please contact Lisa Thompson at or 1.800.272.3900 for more information and registration.  

Journey Engagement Group in Columbia

This Early Stage group meets monthly over a leisurely breakfast at a local restaurant. Families are encouraged to attend and enjoy the company of others as we socialize, discuss,and have fun.

We meet the last Monday of each month from 9:30-11:30am. Call the Columbia office at 573.443.8665 for the location of our next breakfast 'get together.' 

Social Club in Springfield

The Springfield Social Club is an active community engagement club for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Activities include brown bag lunches, ballroom dancing, miniature golf, picnics, bowling, and much more.  Participants may choose to attend all activities or select their favorite few. Contact Lisa Thompson at 417.886.2199 for more information. Membership is required.

Thank you to the Greene County Senior Citizens' Services Fund for the grant to support Springfield Social Club.

Memories in the Making®

Memories in the Making®, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter in conjunction with Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, offers creative art expression for individuals with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. People experiencing dementia are often able to paint their thoughts, emotions and memories in a manner that is expressive and beautiful. Art becomes their voice. Through painting, people are often able to reach outside of their dementia and paint a picture that reconnects them with a past memory. Memories in the Making® meets Thursday mornings under the guidance of local artist, Jesse McCormick. No experience is necessary and materials are free. For information or to enroll contact Lisa Thompson at the Alzheimer's Association, 417.866.2199.  

Monthly Early-Stage Support Group


3rd Wednesday of each month, 3:30 p.m. (April - November)
Facilitated by April Bernhardt
Tiger Place, 2910 Bluff Creek Drive in Columbia
Pre-registration required, please call 573.443.8665.


The Springfield Early Stage Support Group is designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for both caregivers and people in the early stage of Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia through regularly scheduled meetings.  The support group meets every 2nd Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Springfield office. Registration is required. Please contact Lisa Thompson at 417.886.2199 or 1 800 272 3900.


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.