“A lot of times [family caregivers] are searching and just trying to figure out, ‘What do I do?’” said Rebekah Davis, regional programs director for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Georgia Chapter. “They just need information and education.
“And the workshop is a good place to get that because we provide that information. We provide education and information on resources that are available to them. So the good thing about the workshop is you can come and learn, but you can also leave equipped with both knowledge and some local community resources that are available.”
Along with connecting with other caregivers, attendees will be treated to lunch and receive valuable information from Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Susan Greene, who will present “The Basics — Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.”
“The workshop is actually geared toward family caregivers but we also welcome other caregivers, such as professionals,” said Davis, adding more than 120,000 Georgia residents are living with Alzheimer’s. “Then, what we cover that day is we talk about the basics of Alzheimer’s disease and partnering with your doctor, which really covers how someone can work with their physician when they have a loved one who’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“... [Then] our geriatric nurse practitioner, she basically gives them practical hands-on guidance and instructions about the day-to-day care of someone with Alzheimer’s, about how to handle behaviors. If someone is having a difficult time dealing with someone’s behavior who has Alzheimer’s, she’ll discuss how to handle the challenging behaviors. And she’ll discuss personal care, such as grooming and hygiene.”
Alzheimer’s constitutes between 50 and 80 percent of dementia diagnoses, in which people’s mental abilities diminish, impacting their daily life. In the United States, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s, the majority of whom are 65 and older. Each year, nearly one in three senior adults who pass away have succumbed to the disease or another form of dementia.
According to www.alz.org, “Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
“Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions. ... Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.”
For those interested in attending the workshop, registration is required by calling 800-272-3900.