Being a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient is often an all-day, everyday job. 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 loved ones, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources and the Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County are teaming up to hold a caregiver conference on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1315 N. Stevens St. in Tacoma .
The 2017 Pierce County Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference will provide useful information and practical skills for individuals providing care or seeking more knowledge about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Refreshments will be provided. The annual conference is free but advance registration is required by clicking here or by calling (253) 798-8787.
The featured speaker is Laura Wayman, known as “The Dementia Whisperer.” Wayman is internationally recognized for her writing and teaching in the field of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and long-term care. Her personal mission is to help family and professional caregivers better understand how it feels to have dementia so they can be better caregivers. She has created a personalized dementia care program specific to in-home care providers. In addition to her keynote presentation, Wayman will also lead a break-out session on putting a “transformed care approach” into practice.
“There is hardly a family today that has not been touched in some way by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “The dedication that is demanded of caregivers is enormous. The Pierce County Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference provides the kind of practical skills and resources that caregivers can put into practice immediately. Those tips and tools enable caregivers to provide better care for their loved one as well as take better care of themselves.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5.1 million Americans 65 years or older may currently have Alzheimer’s disease, the most well-known form of cognitive impairment; this number may rise to 13.2 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s is the third leading age-adjusted case of death in Washington State and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
For more information about the conference call the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
Bob Riler, Outreach & Education Specialist
Pierce County Human Services, Aging and Disability Resources