Two local aging specialists are seeking volunteers who were diagnosed with early onset MCI/dementia before the age of 65 to participate in a study of their experiences by attending one of two focus groups in La Crosse next month.

Erica Srinivasan, an assistant psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse specializing in gerontology, dementia and end-of-life issues, and Amy Brezinka, owner and consultant at Care Coach Connection in Holmen, are conducting the study.

“We would like to learn more about personal experiences of living and coping with MCI/early onset dementia,” Brezinka said. “Our hope is to bring greater awareness about this condition, decrease stigma and improve services.”

Participants would be interviewed in a focus group with others who are living with early onset MCI/dementia. The session would last about 1½ hours and include a free lunch.

Participants will receive a $10 gift card to Kwik Trip or Festival Foods, as well as being entered in a drawing to win a $100 Festival gift card.

The focus groups, both of which will be in the Black River Beach Neighborhood Center at 1433 Rose St., will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 7 and Oct. 18. Participants need sign up for only one.

To register, or if you have questions, contact Srinivasan at esrinivasan@uwlax.edu or 608-785-6882, or Brezinka at amy.brezinka@gmail.com or 507-312-9485.

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Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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