03/23/11 — Alzheimer's Caregivers workshop

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Alzheimer's Caregivers workshop

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 23, 2011 2:24 PM

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimers can take a toll as each passing day brings new challenges and complications.

Because the burden often falls to family members, there is a greater need to be educated and trained on the various stages of the disease.

Alzheimers North Carolina Inc. is hosting a free caregiver workshop in Goldsboro on Thursday, March 31, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church on Chestnut Street.

"Working Together to Fill Your Caregiver Toolbox" is designed to help develop skills for different levels of the disease and care administered by family or community caregivers, said Anne Paugh, outreach and community development director. The association usually hosts two large workshops each year, one for health care professionals and this one that caters more to family caregivers.

"The needs change for the caregivers as they have to be trained on the early stages, the middle stages and the late stages (of Alzheimers)," Mrs. Paugh said. "So you've going to have a lot of the same family members each year. But we have been averaging about 75 percent new people each year."

The interactive program will discuss the latest in dementia care, types and progression of dementia, approaches and strategies for care and effective communication techniques.

Melanie Bunn, dementia training specialist with Alzheimers North Carolina will be the featured presenter.

"We always have literature, we have lots of books, but we will not have exhibits," said Mrs. Paugh. "This is more the family members and caregivers in the homes, geared specifically for them so it's a smaller setting."

There is no charge but pre-registration is required by March 24.

Lunch and respite services will also be provided. Attendees are asked to call in advance to request the respite service.

The annual event is a valuable opportunity for caregivers to not only gain valuable information but to network with others experiencing similar situations, Mrs. Paugh said.

"It's a good support system and I encourage people to be educated about the disease because the more you know the better job you can do taking care of a loved one," she said.

To pre-register call Lisa Levine, program coordinator, at 832-3732.