Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s? Attend this conference on Nov. 4

The Alzheimer’s Association of Western and Central Washington is hosting an educational conference Nov. 4 in Yakima to provide tools and encouragement to family caregivers and health care professionals in Central Washington who are caring for people with dementia. Executive Director Bob Le Roy appeared on KIT 1280 on Oct. 21, 2014, to talk more about the upcoming conference.

Why do health care providers and the general public need more information about Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in Washington state, and it’s expected to be a major health issue in the years to come as baby boomers retire. State officials are working to develop an Alzheimer’s Disease Plan to map out the needs of the thousands of Washington residents who are and will be affected by this progressive, fatal disease.

In Central Washington, the need for more information about this progressive, fatal disease is great. The Alzheimer’s Association sponsors support groups for caregivers in both English and Spanish – the Spanish groups started this past summer – but there is a true need for tips and tools to help families cope with the disease.

What can people who attend the conference expect?
Family caregivers will have sessions devoted specifically to them, offering helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care for loved ones. These sessions will address challenges to caring for a loved one with dementia, including relationship changes, communication, maximizing safety and difficult behaviors.

The family caregiver sessions will be offered concurrently in both English and Spanish and are being offered at no charge to participants, made possible in part by a generous grant from The Memorial Foundation.

Is there an education program for health care providers as well?
Yes. A second track of the conference offers sessions to address the progression of dementia-related diseases for health care professionals, including nurses, physicians, medical assistants and medical students who are or will be caring for people with dementia. The registration fee is $50.

In addition, we are offering a separate, education program in the evening for continuing education credits for physicians and medical professionals.

When is the conference?
The conference is Tuesday, Nov. 4. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m.

A complimentary box lunch is provided.

Preregistration is required. Visit alzwa.org/cms/yacc/ or call (206) 529-3894 to register.

For more information, visit alzwa.org or yakimamemorial.org.

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