Preceding the Town Hall on Saturday will be a “Memory Loss Awareness Conference,” sponsored by the AARP. Participants will learn what Alzheimer’s disease is and how to distinguish it from normal forgetfulness with aging, mild cognitive impairment and other related dementias. Dr. Dustin Hammers of the Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research will give the Keynote address at 9:00 a.m. The event is free to the public. Check-in and registration is at 8:30. Call 435-628-8626 with questions.
“It seems we all know someone asking, ‘Is it Alzheimer’s?’ This event is for all of us who are worried about memory loss,” said Sharon Ott, local representative for the AARP. Participants will also learn how to help a person with common behaviors and confusion associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. “Validation therapy” to provide comfort and redirection will be taught by Sheryl Salas Diamantino, an Alzheimer’s patient coordinator with Sunrise Senior Living.
The gathering will also provide an opportunity for Alzheimer’s Association officials to educate residents and senior care professionals on the multitude of service options available to individuals and families needing Alzheimer’s disease counseling and support. The impact of the National Alzheimer’s Plan on Southern Utah caregivers will also be discussed. The plan provides increased funding for research, awareness, education, outreach and caregiver support.
Input from Utah caregivers at the conference will be transmitted to Utah’s Congressional delegation to urge their support of the administration’s budget priorities for American’s coping with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
In addition to the conference, faith-based groups and volunteers will assemble “Sensory Kits” on behalf of 67 Washington County families caring for a loved one at home with dementia. The kits will help patients with functioning and reminiscence. Eagle Scout candidate Cody Blythe and interns at Dixie State College School of Nursing will organize the volunteers assembling the kits, which will be delivered by Senior Companions from the Volunteer Center of Washington County.
The Alzheimer’s Association presently has several support groups, family counseling teleconferences, access to social networking via the Association’s ALZConnected and through a toll free Helpline 1-800-272-3900 which is staffed 24/7 and provides information and guidance in 170 languages and dialects. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.