Author to speak at support group meeting

DULUTH - "Having a loved one with Alzheimer's/dementia is never easy," Agnes Murner said. "It is heartbreaking."

Murner, author of "Because I've Been There - A Journey Through Alzheimer's," will offer advice to those caring for Alzheimer's and dementia patients as guest speaker for Duluth First United Methodist Church's Alzheimer's Caregivers Support Group from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the church, 3208 Ga. Highway 120 in Duluth. Murner will have her book on hand.

"My book is not medical, but it is doctor endorsed," the Acworth resident said. When her mother was diagnosed and being treated for Alzheimer's, a neurologist told Murner there were many good medical books available on the condition but few books that help those caring for Alzheimer's patients. Murner's book is divided into page-long chapters, each offering a thought or idea to assist caregivers and provide ways for them to interact with dementia patients.

"I try to help people understand how very real the dementia world is to these patients, whether they're happy or sad or hurt ... that's their reality," Murner said. "If we can grasp that and work with them accordingly, it decreases the stress for the family and helps the patients."

The Alzheimer's Caregivers Support Group typically meets from 7 to 8:15 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month.

For more information on the support group and its upcoming meeting featuring Murner, call Duluth FUMC's parish nurse, Linda Bailey, at 770-476-3776, ext. 15, or e-mail her at lbailey@duluthumc.org.

For more information on Murner and "Because I've Been There - A Journey Through Alzheimer's," visit www.becauseministries.com.