Thelma’s Place

Thelma Brear 1908-2004

In February 2000 Thelma moved to Country Side Living in Woodburn where the employees and especially the owner, Erik Berkey, fell in love with her. When her savings dwindled Erik opened Country Side Living in Canby and applied for a Medicaid contract so that he’d never have to lose Thelma as a resident.

Thelma’s Place was founded by Erik Berkey and named after Thelma Brear. If you would like to read Thelma’s complete story, you can find it HERE.

Alzheimer’s disease was discovered in 1906 and at that time, many myths, misconceptions and stigmas surrounding Alzheimer’s grew, in part, to the lack of research and understanding of Alzheimer’s  and other forms of dementia.

Today there are at least 44 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Through research and study, much more is understood about Alzheimer’s and its outward symptoms. We know that the symptoms manifest themselves differently for different people, but at the core, the people are still people…someone’s mother, sister, dad, uncle or grandparent. They are still musicians, artists, engineers, nurses, gardeners, athletes and so it goes.

We know that nobody can care for your loved ones the way you can. We know that and honor you for the passionate care you give your loved ones. We also realize that every caregiver needs a break from time to time…to catch up on the other parts of living that don’t go away…or maybe to get away and refresh yourself. That is what the founder of Thelma’s Place had in mind when it was created.

Thelma’s Place is a non-profit care center created to provide families a rest from care-giving. We believe those who have Alzheimer’s or other dementia conditions are best served at home, but when a break is needed, Thelma’s Place is there to care for your loved ones with the same compassion and loving care as you provide at home.

Our program provides respite service focusing on individual strengths and interests, activities that cognitively stimulate and education designed to help compensate some of the memory loss attributes of Alzheimer’s…all in an environment that is built on the core values of love and hope.

All of our services are facilitated by trained, professional and caring staff. Our services are also open to all.

The Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures 2011 report details the growing prevalence and escalating impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia on individuals, caregivers, families, government and the nation’s healthcare system. This report includes definitions of the types of dementia, prevalence, mortality, caregiving, and costs of care and services.

    • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. See What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
    • An estimated 5.4 million people have Alzheimer’s disease. See Sobering Statistics about Alzheimer’s Disease
    • More women than men have Alzheimer’s disease
    • The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age.
    • Every 69 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease. By mid-century, someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds.
    • Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death among the top 10 in the U.S. without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. In fact, Alzheimer’s kills more people than diabetes and more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
    • 80,000 Oregonians have Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
    • One in eight people 65 and older have Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and nearly one in two people over the age of 85.
    • 10 million of the 78 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 will develop Alzheimer’s in their lifetime.
    • The disease is the fifth leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older and the sixth leading cause of death across all ages in the U.S. Alzheimer’s-associated healthcare costs are also projected to increase from $183 billion in 2011 to $1.1 trillion by 2050. The report also focuses on the benefits and challenges of early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
    • 70% of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are living at home and receive unpaid help from family and friends.
    • There are nearly 15 million Alzheimer’s caregivers who provide 17 billion hours of unpaid care; this healthcare service contribution to the country is worth almost $183 billion and will be $202 billion by 2050.
    • In 2010, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $7.9 billion in additional health care costs.
    • Unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers are usually family members. See Are Alzheimer’s Caregivers the Forgotten?

A survey conducted in 2011 by GfK Roper with nearly 700 caregivers of someone with Alzheimer’s disease reveals the impact that Alzheimer’s disease has on family caregivers. To see complete study visit:

Caregiving is incredibly stressful, and also very lonely and isolating, particularly with Alzheimer’s disease when the loved one gradually loses the ability to communicate effectively, said Suzanne Mintz, president and chief executive officer of NFCA

Caregiver Information: You may find these statistics very interesting regarding caregivers.
Gender: 60% Female, 40% Male
Age: 52.5 (mean) 7% “Millennial Caregivers”, under age 30, caring for grandparents
Ethnicity: 78% Caucasian; 15% African American; 12% Hispanic
Years Spent Caregiving: 4.1 years (mean)
Care recipients: 63% parents/in-law; 16% grandparents
Work Status: 49% full-time; 14% part-time; 24% retired
Family Status: 69% married; 21% parents with children under age 18

“The majority of caregivers are full-time employees (49 percent); some are part-time employees (14 percent) or retired (24 percent). Sixty-nine percent of caregivers are married and 21 percent are with children under the age of 18. The average number of caregiving years is 4.1. Among the caregivers surveyed, 72 percent of patients cared for are female, and 28 percent male. The average age of the patient is 82 years old, with 86 percent of patients 75 or older.”

Besides their loved one’s health and physical decline, losing the ability to communicate frightens all caregivers the most, according to the survey. When asked, “How do caregivers feel?” communication was indicated as the top stressor behind general health and physical capabilities. Over half of the caregivers are decreasing attempts to engage in conversations with their loved one. Three-fourths of the family caregivers indicated they have become better and more effective communicators. Caregivers have described mixed emotions such as, drained, exhausted, frustrated or impatient.

Despite the stress associated with communicating, most caregivers surveyed say they have learned to adopt new ways to communicate with the person they care for (71 percent) and feel they have become better communicators themselves (76 percent). The most common alternative methods of communication include observing facial expressions (84 percent) and body language (79 percent) and using pictures/photos (66 percent).