Though professional caregivers are available, family members or friends are frequently called upon to handle many of the caregiving responsibilities on their own.
To teach these caregivers how to best care for their patients, Kingsport Kiwanis is teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Regional Resource Center to hold a caregiver conference on Sept. 19.
“There are paid caregivers, but so many of the Alzheimer’s patients have to rely on their family or close friends,” said Bill Sade, chairman of the Kiwanis Club’s communications committee. “And those family or friend caregivers just aren’t prepared for what they have to do.”
More than five million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and that number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Because of this, Sade said, having knowledgeable caregivers is more critical than ever.
At the conference, professional and nonprofessional caregivers will learn from Teepa Snow, one of the world’s leading advocates and educators for those living with dementia. Using role play techniques, Snow will help caregivers better understand what it’s like to live with dementia.
The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Parish Life Center at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. Proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Regional Resource Center in its efforts to support those who are affected by the disease.
Nonprofessional caregivers can attend for $75, and professional caregivers can attend for $95. Professional caregivers will also receive continuing education credits. Businesses or organizations that would like to set up an exhibit table can do so for $125, and breakfast and lunch will be provided to all attendees.
To register online, visit kingsportkiwanis.org and click “Alzheimer’s Conference.” Those who have questions or prefer not to register online can call Kingsport Kiwanis at (828) 484-8289 or the Alzheimer’s Regional Resource Center at (423) 378-4673.