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Greater Denver Ataxia Support Group October Meeting Focuses on Accessing Government Resources

Photo: A few members got together for a Preholiday Fun Lunch Saturday, November 16 at the Fish Company, Bass Pro in Northfield, Denver.

Author: Charlotte DePew, NAF Support Group Leader

The quarterly Denver Ataxia Support Group met at Swedish Medical Center on Saturday, October 19, 2019. Because of new hospital construction, parking was again a challenge. The flyer for our next meeting on January 18, 2020 (speaker TBD, possibly a UC Physical Therapist knowledgeable with Ataxia patients’ needs and issues) will hopefully have updated parking instructions.

Among the 30-some who attended, we had a variety of ages, Ataxia types, frequent and not so-frequent attendees, and one new member recently diagnosed. The potluck lunch was a delicious feast with festive fall decorations by Barb and Mike, our reliable meeting hosts/hostess. After brief announcements about the Annual Ataxia Conference at the Denver Downtown Sheraton on March 6 and 7, 2020, we had brief introductions before our speakers arrived.

We had two excellent and experienced speakers: Mary Ellen Leeds, LCSW, Adult Protection Caseworker. Arapahoe Count and Joan Bogar, LCSW who specializes in elder and disability needs. Both informed us on the many local/county, State, and Federal agencies and services available for assistance to all ages of disabled and aged individuals. The resource variety and number was overwhelming and application process complex. Both recommended an excellent source that they gave each of us: the Arapahoe County “blue book” that also covers State and Federal agencies.. Other counties may have the same literature.

Since navigating government resources is complex, they recommended finding a caseworker and/or asking for a social worker consult at your neurologist’s clinic. A warning when dealing with government agencies at all levels: be prepared for long frustrating wait times on the phone, being transferred multiple times, having the call dropped to restart and more. After all, not all agencies have digital systems that communicate well when going from one government level to another.

Contact Charlotte DePew for more information about the Greater Denver Ataxia Support Group

Phone: 720-379-6887
Facebook Group:


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