For many people across the country, dementia is something they have to deal with every day, whether they are a dementia sufferer or a care giver of someone with dementia. It is not easy in any way and the Alzheimer’s Association wanted to bring some very important things to this area to try to educate and help those who deal with this daily.
The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Cincinnati Chapter held a Dementia Challenges in Rural America – Southeastern Ohio Dementia Education Conference Thursday at the Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center.
Sponsors for this event were: Ohio Valley Manor, SOMC, Mimi’s Hope, Four Winds Community, and Interim Healthcare.
Leah Frederick from the Ohio Valley Manor said, ” We believe very strongly in serving the community and part of that of course, with the growing epidemic of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, it’s even more important to be invested seeking cures and helping educate and working together collaboratively with organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association.”
The day began with Leon Rosenberg, MD, a neurologist, as the Morning Keynote speaker. Following the keynote speaker, the group took a break and could visit the exhibitors that were at the Conference. The group then divided into two breakout sessions listening to either a session on Grief and Compassion Fatigue or one on Senior Scams.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It is not a normal part of aging. It does, however, get worse over time. The symptoms can be different for different people, the first problem people notice is forgetfulness, usually severe forgetfulness. Alzheimer’s disease is just one of the many causes of dementia. There is no current medication that prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association states that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only one in the top 10 without an effective treatment, prevention or cure.
The breakout group, The Grief and Compassion Fatigue group was led by The Rev. Hannah Niday, Chaplain at Four Winds Community in Jackson. Compassion Fatigue is defined as a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress: it is an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper.” Dr. Charles Figley. The speaker had a photo of a cup that said, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
The Senior Scams session breakout group was led by a lady from Mike Dewine’s office. They were addressing the latest scams targeting our senior population in Ohio. The lady played a video on a couple from Ohio, Beaver Creek, and how this scam used what they call, the Grandparent Scam. The couple were called by someone who said he was their grandson and that he was hurt and needed them to send iTunes cards worth $1500.00. So, thinking their grandson needed them, they sent the cards. Then, soon after, they received a phone call from their grandson, telling them he was fine, but they were already out the money.
“Interim Health Care provides services to patients and families in the community to help keep people at home as best we can, and for as long as we can, and we do think that dementia is a very worthwhile cause. I recently became part of the team at Interim and my intention is to expand on Interim’s participation with the Alzheimer’s Association in the fight against dementia, I think it’s so important… to know what dementia means and what it does to the patient and the family and the challenges and I’m excited about taking this back to my team who couldn’t be here today,” said April Keefer.
The Afternoon Keynote speaker was Shirley Neitch, MD, who is the director of the Hanshaw Geriatric Center at Marshall. She is also the co-author or “Becoming a Clinician: A Primer for Medical Students.”
Andrea Williams, BHA, is the program coordinator for the Association in this eight county area, and she said, “the attendance for today is wonderful. We have really worked hard to build the programs in this area. A lot of the people that are here are working for job related, so it’s education for them, but then there’s also probably one-third of the people who have attended today are here because they’re care givers. They could attend our support groups and may have learned about this from them.”
“We are so thrilled to provide education and continued support to this area and all the communities we serve. We are very thankful for our sponsors and community partners as we work to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Remember we are here to help each person with their journey call 800-272-3900 twenty four hours a day, 7 days a week and let us help,”stated the team from The Alzheimer’s Association present at today’s event.
Whether you were a caregiver, business, or patient dealing with dementia, this event brought some much needed information that would have been helpful for them. The Alzheimer’s Association set up an educational program that surely will be used by all who attended.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928
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