03/20/05 — Alzheimers caregivers workshop planned

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Alzheimers caregivers workshop planned

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 20, 2005 2:03 AM

A workshop is planned for later this month for family members and caregivers of Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

Sponsored by the eastern North Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, the free workshop will be held Tuesday, March 29, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church. A light lunch will be provided.

Organizer Anne Paugh said the workshop is designed for caregivers as well as family members of someone at home with a dementia-related illnesses. There are also plans for a respite care group trained to care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

"We're looking for volunteers who would like to spend maybe two hours a week sitting with someone in the home to give the caregiver a break," she said.

Part of a new program, she said the Alzheimer's Association is working collaboratively with Volunteer Wayne and the RSVP volunteer program.

"We want to train anyone who is not comfortable sitting with them, visiting with them, so that they will have a comfort level working with Alzheimer's and dementia patients," she said.

She said she often gets questions from people who want to visit a friend with the disease, but are frustrated because they have little knowledge or understanding about it. "They don't know how to approach people with Alzheimer's, how to communicate with them."

The workshop will be beneficial for those situations, she said, as well as providing information, resources, and contacts for future reference. It is also designed to support families in attaining hope, understanding, and the skills to deal with the effects of the disease.

"It does impact the entire family, not just the caregivers," Mrs. Paugh said. "The family dynamics change."

Mrs. Paugh also invited Stephen's Ministers and church members with the responsibility of visiting patients in nursing homes to attend the workshop.

To register, people may call the Alzheimer's Association at 1-800-228-08738.