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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Local Dementia Conference Offers Tips and Tools for Caregivers

More than 450 people will gather at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, in King of Prussia, for the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter Annual Dementia Conference, entitled Empowering Caregivers & Communities, on April 24. Attendees will hear from several dementia care experts, including keynote speaker, author/educator/gerontologist, Tam Cummings, Ph.D.

“Family and professional caregivers will learn innovative tips and tools from specialized workshop presentations and each other,” says Kristina Prendergast, the chapter’s manager of conference and program outreach. The Delaware Valley Chapter offers a free, 24/7 helpline, support groups, consumer education and other caregiver and early-stage programs and services.

Alzheimer’s Association studies have shown a majority of caregivers report higher emotional and physical stress due to caring for someone with dementia. More than one-third experienced symptoms of depression. The association’s 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report found one-fifth of care contributors in the United States also sacrificed their own medical care by cutting back on doctor visits, putting their physical health at risk.

In Pennsylvania, approximately 400,000 residents have Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. In 2015, as many as 673,000 family members and friends provided 766 million hours of unpaid care for them—worth more than $9 billion. “Too often, struggling caregivers suffer in silence,” says Prendergast. “That’s why we encourage anyone who’s caring for someone living with dementia to attend the conference. It’s a great networking opportunity.”

For conference registration and information, call 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org/delval.

March 2017

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