Grant County Health Fair

Family nurse practitioner Nora Healey, right, oversees an Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group that meets monthly in John Day. In the photo, Healey sits with Krish Hamilton, a tai chi instructor, at the Grant County Older Adults and Vulnerable Populations Collaborative booth at the Grant County Family Health Fair held in June.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a caregivers support group that meets monthly in John Day, providing emotional support for those who look after loved ones or patients with the disease.

The group meets 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Monday of the month, and their next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 19, at the Department of Human Services conference room, at 725 W. Main St., Suite E.

Nora Healey, a family nurse practitioner at Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic, created the program after seeing the challenges faced by family members and caregivers of her patients and others in the community with Alzheimer’s and other conditions under the dementia umbrella.

“People are at their wits’ end and don’t know what to do,” she said.

She added that it is possible to call a 24/7 helpline to speak to a support person, but said, “It’s not the same as sitting with someone and talking with them.”

She said the aim of the group is to offer emotional support, resources and learn about addressing the patient or family members’ needs.

Healey said the group is only for caregivers and family members, not the patients.

People who are interested can register for the group at the Alzheimer’s Association’s website,

Click on “Help & Support” at the top of the page, then click on “Help & Support” again. Scroll down and click on “Support groups,” then scroll down and click on the highlighted words “Find a support group near me,” then scroll down and enter John Day in the bar that reads “Keyword” and click “Apply Filters.” Scroll down, and it will show the date of the next meeting.

Click on “John Day Caregiver Support Group” for further information and scroll down to register.

Registration is preferred, but not required, and the group meetings are free.

The class is led by Healey and Rod Harwood, an Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialist from Pendleton, who works through Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc.

For more help, the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline number is 800-272-3900.

For more information, contact Healey at

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.


Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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