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Caregiver conference set for June 16

From Staff Reports

Caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias may feel overwhelmed and alone. Alzheimer’s Tennessee’s upcoming “Caring and Coping” Caregiver Conference offers support and strategies for family and professional caregivers, according to a press release from the organization.

“There’s no question that this conference is worth gold to anyone who doesn’t know what the next step is supposed to be,” said Jay Riegel, who attended an Alzheimer’s Tennessee Conference last spring and whose wife 62-year-old wife is living with Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal dementia. “You get all sorts of guidance and concern for the caregiver. I miss her, even though she’s here, she’s not really there. You just miss them, and it was helpful to find answers.”

Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. presents its “Caring & Coping” Caregiving Conference in Johnson City on Thursday, June 16, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Boones Creek Christian Church, 305 Christian Church Road in Johnson City. To register, call 330-4532 or go to www.alzTennessee.org.

Dynamic speaker, Melanie Bunn, RN, MS, GNP will present “Navigating the Journey of Dementia – Where do we go and how do we get there?” Bunn will cover a range of topics vital to family and professional caregivers, including: Overview of Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias; Managing Challenging Behaviors; Meaningful Days and Memorable Moments; Caring for the Caregiver.

“Dementia is not just forgetting things here and there,” said Tracey Kendall, regional director of Alzheimer’s Tennessee. “Once a diagnosis is given, many times a family is without direction, education, or support. Our care partners need to understand that dementia impacts every area of life. Understanding such factors makes it easier to embrace strategies that make our days more successful.”

Melanie Bunn, RN, MS, GNP has provided primary care to seniors in a variety of settings including retirement homes, long term care nursing, assisted living facilities, hospitals and in home in positions including gerontological nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist and staff nurse. Bunn presents more than 150 sessions each year at local, statewide, and national conferences and meetings with interactive presentations using learner-centered educational strategies.

The conference will also give participants a better understanding of the disease, its process and available treatments. Participants will learn practical tips for caring for individuals with dementia while maintaining their own health during the course of the disease.

Advance registration is required and seating is limited. Cost is $25 for family caregivers and $45 for healthcare professionals (CEU credits are available). The fee includes materials, lunch and refreshments. On site respite for the person with dementia will be provided.  

For more information or to sign up, call Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. at 330-4532 or visit www.alzTennessee.org.