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The Aging and Memory Clinic

The Aging and Memory Clinic is a service provided by the Medical Family Therapy Program at Saint Louis University

Students and Faculty standing in front of Memory Clinic sign
 

Mission

The Memory Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic that offers family-centered services to patients and families suffering from dementia and older adult issues. We take a holistic and biopsychosocial approach to aging, where we see the health and well-being of older adults as being connected to many areas of their lives. Our care also extends to all areas and regions of St. Louis and surrounding areas, helping provide services to individuals and families who otherwise cannot afford care.

Staff

  • Max Zubatsky, Ph.D. - Director
  • Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D. - Faculty
  • Mayra Massey - Clinic Coordinator and Facilitator
  • Anna Brende- Facilitator
  • Sean Reilly - Facilitator
  • Matthew Amick - Facilitator
  • Daniela Bulzarik - Facilitator Trainee
  • Hunter Boling - Facilitator Trainee

Initiatives

Clinical Services

  • Cognitive Stimulation Therapy: Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is an evidenced-based intervention to help improve cognition for individuals with mild to moderate dementia. The group meets for twice per week for 14 weeks. The goal is for participants to help engage with one another in a group setting, while reminiscing about different memories to help improve cognition and mood.
  • Circle of Friends: Circle of Friends is a group intervention that originated from Finland, to help connect older adults who are lonely and socially isolated. SLU has adapted these groups now on telehealth, where older adults can help connect around common interests and topics to reduce isolation. The intervention covers three main topics: exercise and strength, common hobbies, and therapeutic writing.
  • Caregiver Process Groups: The clinic offers caregiver process groups for spouses or children who are taking care of a loved one with dementia. These groups are not psychotherapy, but are targeted to help participants process topics, ideas and concerns that come up around caregiving. Each group is a $5 cost per session. Times may vary on when the groups will meet during the week.
  • Family Consultations: The Memory Clinic offers free family consultations to help families with a loved one with challenges around mental health and/or medical concerns. A team of several facilitators will conduct a 45-minute consult (via Zoom) to assess for certain issues and areas to help connect the family with certain resources. One of the referrals we offer is a free Geriatric screening at the SLU Health Resource Center.

Research

Grant Funding: The Memory Clinic has several services that are tied to research and grants. We provide services and collect data on the following grants over the past year:

  • HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program Grant
  • HRSA Primary care Enhancement and Training Grant
  • Lutheran Foundation Grant
  • St. Louis Community Foundation Grant (COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant)
  • Regional Health Commission COVID Response Grant for Loneliness and Social Isolation

Publications and Presentations 

 Faculty and students publish articles from both data from clinical services and other areas of research.

Selected Publications

Zubatsky, M., Berg‐Weger, M., & Morley, J. (2020). Using Telehealth Groups to Combat Loneliness in Older Adults through COVID‐19. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Berg-Weger, M., & Morley, J. E. (2020). Loneliness and social isolation in older adults during the Covid-19 pandemic: Implications for gerontological social work.

Stewart, D. B., Berg-Weger, M., Tebb, S., Sakamoto, M., Roselle, K., Downing, L., ... & Hayden, D. (2017). Making a difference: A study of cognitive stimulation therapy for persons with dementia. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 60(4), 300-312.

Zubatsky, M., Aragon-Prada, M., Muse, F., Rainey, P., & Martin, R. (2016). Navigating Without a Roadmap: Challenges of Early Alzheimer’s Caregivers With Their Health Care Team. Global qualitative nursing research, 3, 2333393616673465.

Berg-Weger, M., Tebb, S., Henderson-Kalb, J., Zubatsky, M., Lundy, J., & Hayden, D. (2015). Cognitive stimulation therapy: A tool for your practice with persons with dementia?. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 16(9), 795-796.

Presentations

The Memory Clinic has presented at several local and national conferences on CST, Circle of Friends, caregiver well-being and other geriatric topics:

  • IAGG World Congress (July 2017)

  • International CST Conference in St. Louis (June 2019)

  • Gerontological Society of America Annual Conference (November 2019)

  • National Council on Family Relations (November 2020)

Training

  • Caregiver Speaker’s Series: The speaker’s series is a way for both family and professional caregivers to hear topics from professionals working in the memory and aging field. These talks cover a variety of areas such as signs of dementia, power of attorney, driving and dementia, self care for caregivers and navigating the healthcare system. These talks are free and are offered on Zoom. To get on the speaker’s series list, please contact the Memory Clinic at memoryclinic@health.slu.edu.
  • “Pay it Forward”: This is an exciting initiative where caregivers can produce a 5-10 minute narrative of their caregiving experiences of a loved one. The goal is for caregivers to provide their own narrative story of being a caregiver and providing some information for others to consider. This is a person-centered approach to care, where the community helps educate one another about ideas and strategies that help people cope with their loved one’s health issues.

Medical Student and Resident Training

One of the novel areas of training in the Memory Clinic is having residents and students shadow and observe different services and sessions. We have medical students along with residents from family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics and psychiatry who gain more geriatrics experience during their shadowing of the Memory Clinic.

Webinars and Videos

Working with Dementia Caregivers (for Professionals)

Caregiving

Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation