Here in southern Maine, hundreds of people and their families are dealing with one of the 80-plus forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. If you’re one of these families, there is a unique resource here in York County.

At Main and Grove streets in downtown Kennebunk, on Route 1 next to Perfecto’s, you’ll find an unassuming storefront. Inside you’ll discover A Place to Start, a most comfortable and elegant place to gather for anyone with dementia, along with his or her care partner.

Director Sally Tartre, her family and volunteers offer conversation, guidance, understanding, acceptance and emotional support for this life-changing condition. A Place to Start also provides information on legal and personal resources, coping with day-to-day living and considerations for the future. Its staff can even advise you on adult day care and residential facilities.

And then there are the activities.

This month, my wife and/or I will participate in a luncheon, a watercolor class, a presentation by a neurologist and a hand and neck massage, all complimentary. In addition, we can bring a lunch to Roger’s Pond in Kennebunk any Wednesday and walk, relax and socialize with other care partners and their loved ones.

I’ve talked with many specialists and support groups from around the country who find it almost incredible that a nonprofit like this exists in the U.S., let alone in Maine.

If your family is dealing with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, I encourage you to visit aplacetostartfordementia.org, stop by the A Place to Start Facebook page or call them at 502-7238.

If your family is not dealing with dementia, be grateful and consider lending your support to A Place to Start – either financially, by offering an activity or by just calling to say “thank you.”

Jack Savona

Kennebunkport