That number, reported by the BrightFocus Foundation, is expected to nearly triple to 13.8 million by 2050.
To address this issue, the Kingsport Kiwanis Club is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Regional Resource Center to host a caregiver conference, which will teach participants how to properly care for Alzheimer’s patients.
“It’s totally different from (caring for) somebody that has other types of ailments or physical incapabilities,” said Bill Sade, chairman of the Kiwanis Club’s communications committee. “Here, their body can be as strong as it’s ever been, depending upon when the dementia starts, but the mind is diminishing over time, so there are different ways to help that patient.”
Sade said this is the third time this conference has been offered. In 2015, it welcomed nearly 200 professional and family caregivers, in addition to 17 representatives from regional dementia units.
“People learned so much that they asked us to continue to do this, because they learned about how to take care of their family member or person that needed help,” Sade said. “They found it to be very helpful.”
The conference will be led by guest speaker Teepa Snow, a nationally recognized educator and advocate for those living with dementia. Though it is geared toward caregivers, the event is open to anyone who would like to attend.
Non-professional caregivers can attend the conference for $75, and professional caregivers can attend for $95. Dementia unit representatives can set up an exhibit table for $100.
Lunch will be provided to all attendees. Professional caregivers who attend the conference will also receive a continuing education credit.
Sade said the event will serve as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Regional Resource Center, a nonprofit organization established by Preston Place. The center offers educational materials, support groups, training and counseling for caregivers in this community.
The conference will be held Sept. 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, located at 2517 N. John B. Dennis Highway. Registration will open in the coming weeks.