Families celebrated the holidays early Wednesday at the Alzheimer's Association Memories in the Making program, held at Caring Adult Healthcare Services in Pleasantville every first Wednesday of each month.

Patients made holiday crafts while their family members and caregivers got respite care from a support group nearby at the health provider's annual holiday party.

The program gives people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias the chance to express themselves through art while their spouses, children, siblings and other loved ones get support and guidance from each other.

Rates of Alzheimer's are the highest they've ever been. Nearly 30,000 people in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties are affected by Alzheimer’s or a related disorder, according to the association’s Delaware Valley Chapter. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.

— Nicole Leonard

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