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Baseball memory support groups help people with Alzheimer's

Baseball is America’s national pastime. It’s also a way for people living with Alzheimer’s and their care partners to find support. 

Jon Leonoudakis is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, known as SABR. He also facilitates one of SABR’s baseball memory support groups.

"People who are suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia were pretty active in the '50s and '60s, some consider that the golden age of baseball when it permeated our public consciousness here in America, so there's a lot of fond memories."

Leonoudakis says it triggers something.

"We've seen people open up like a flower," he said.

And they might share a story or memory. Leonoudakis says these meetups are also good for the care partner.

"They're seeing their person come alive and interact in ways they don't typically see during the day because of the way they're engaged during the session. They see that sparkle in their eye," said Leonoudakis.

Members from SABR will be speaking at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America conference on Feb. 16. 

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Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.