The memory club: Providing support to persons with early-stage dementia and their care partners

Joseph E. Gaugler, Karen Gallagher-Winker, Kathy Kehrberg, Angela M. Lunde, Connie M. Marsolek, Kathryn Ringham, Gerise Thompson, Michelle Barclay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


There is a growing emphasis on delivering services for persons with early-stage dementia (ie, "persons with memory loss," or PWMLs) and their family members (care partners). The goal of this evaluation was to determine whether participation in the Memory Club, a 10- to 13-session joint support group, would result in decreased distress, enhanced preparation for care, and improved feelings of confidence managing the challenges of early-stage dementia. The single group, pre-/post-test evaluation included 63 PWMLs and 61 care partners who participated in three Memory Club sites in Minnesota. Paired T-test results found that care partners reported significant (P <.05) increases in preparation activities, feelings of preparation, and confidence in managing memory loss. The results suggest that the Memory Club can fill an important gap in early-stage dementia care by offering care partners the opportunity to plan, prepare, and increase coping skills in the face of early dementia progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • caregiver intervention
  • caregiving
  • cognitive impairment
  • early stage
  • support group


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