WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – Wednesday, September 21, West Liberty University’s Highlands Center will host a new support group for those living with dementia and their caregivers at 3 p.m.

2022 Mrs. West Virginia American, Jami Myers’ support group called “Opportunities To Shine” has a branch through West Liberty University’s Speech and Hearing Clinic. 

The purpose of this group is to provide social support, educational resources, and preventative strategies when dealing with brain change. 

West Liberty University speech-pathologist and dementia specialist, Sara Alig, says that this event is important for those living with brain change, caring for someone with brain change, or just wanting to learn about cognitive protection. 

”Well, when people are impacted by brain change, things change along the way. Communication becomes impaired. It’s a little bit more difficult to understand. It’s a little bit more difficult to express themselves. Obviously, memory becomes impaired. Some different safety aspects of everyday living become impaired. So, if we can, kind of, add purpose to everyday life with activities that have meaningful use of time, then people actually just feel a little bit better and we can impact the community from one of our goals which is to try to help people who have challenges with communication disorders.”

Sara Alig – Assistant Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders at West Liberty University

Sara’s students have been working on these activities in their classes to use in a real-world setting like this. 

One activity includes a “Famous Faces Bingo,” where pictures of singers, artists, and Hollywood actors from different eras of time are placed on a bingo card for reminiscence therapy, conversation starters, and fun for anyone who participates.  

Sara’s students have been working on these activities in their classes to use in a real-world setting like this. 

One activity includes a “Famous Faces Bingo,” where pictures of singers, artists, and Hollywood actors from different eras of time are placed on a bingo card for reminiscence therapy, conversation starters, and fun for anyone who participates.  

They are hoping that this event can occur monthly with a good turnout., and you can find information on how to get involved on their website: Support Group Meets at WLU’s Highlands Center – WLU: News & Media Relations (westliberty.edu)