There is still time to sign up for the first Dietert Center Sneaks and Cleats Tournament on Sunday. It is going to be a really fun day, where you gather a team of four people (two 2 men and two women) to have a friendly competition of tennis in the morning and golf in the afternoon.

It is not necessary that all team members have tennis and golf experience, as the tournament is set up to equalize the playing field.

There are several divisions to choose from, including adult competitive, family fun, junior competitive and, for those just wanting to come out for fun and a good cause, we have our hit and giggle division.

This fundraiser will benefit our Dementia Care Advocates program, which provides classes, trainings, support groups and day respite care for those experiencing memory and cognitive impairment and for their loved ones who care for them. For sponsorship or registration information, contact Special Events Coordinator Diane Asper.

I played tennis in junior high school for one year, so you don’t really want me on your team, but I will be there to cheer on everyone because, like so many others today, my family has been impacted by dementia. My dad had Alzheimer’s, and we traveled down an almost 10-year path of fear, anxiety, stress, sadness and all the other ways possible to describe it. I tried to care for him in his home with caregiver assistance during the day. That meant that my girls and I stayed the night with him for several weeks until I realized something else had to be done to make it better for him and for my children.

After two levels of assisted living as his condition progressed, he settled in at the VA Hospital Alzheimer’s wing. They were fabulous and, as the main caregiver for my dad, I was relieved to have him somewhere that he was happy and well taken care of.

He passed away five years to the day that he had entered the VA. I think back now of how much they helped me during that time, but had I been able to participate in some kind of Dementia Care program, I would have been so much better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of this disease.

Since that time, the Dietert Center has put cognitive impairment training and support as one of our special programs, and we are always seeking ways to inform and educate our community. Contact Peggy Pilkenton, coordinator, if you have any questions or need information and assistance.

AROUND THE CENTER

Club Ed has some great activities, events and learning opportunities coming up, including This Old Clock on Thursday, where you will learn what you have, when and where it was made, how it should work, its market value and more. On Saturday, join Olva Hollowell for a Done in a Day Painting Class – Acrylic Bluebonnets. A popular class from last session is back: Downsizing Your Home. Join us on April 10 as Nancy Underwood shares techniques to help you look at all the things in your home with an eye for keeping what you truly need, use and want. Be rid of the extras and enjoy a new phase on your life simplified at last. Boy, do I need that class.

The Lucky Eagle Casino Trip on May 7 still has some spots available. Sign up soon to try your luck.

Join us for “An Evening Under the Stars at Dietert” at 7:30 p.m. April 12. Rudi Harst will be on the back deck for an uplifting and inspirational performance. The performance is free, but donations will be accepted to help support the Dietert Center.

Remember that anyone, of any age, can participate in classes or eat lunch at the center. If you are younger than 60 years of age, the price for lunch is $8, and if you are 60 or older, fill out a quick form for us, and your meal is by donation ($4 is suggested).

Chef Karen Privett is serving pork fritters on Wednesday, baked fish on Thursday, baked chicken on Friday, Santa Fe chicken on Monday, Krabby cakes on Tuesday and Swiss steak on April 10.

Brenda Thompson is the executive director of the Dietert Center.

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