ST. GEORGE – Over the next eight years, Utah is projected to have a 40 percent increase in people with Alzheimer’s disease, one of the largest among all states, according to Ronnie Daniel, executive director for the Alzheimer’s Association.
For those who take care of loved ones with Alzheimers or dementia, caregiving and the progression of the disease can take a toll on their own physical, emotional and financial health.
An educational conference and town hall meeting focusing on the unique challenges faced by caregivers is being offered Wednesday at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. The Utah Department of Health, University of Utah College of Nursing and the Alzheimer’s Association are hosting this event.
The caregiver conference and town hall meeting is open to the public and will be extremely beneficial for Alzheimer’s and dementia family caregivers and health care professionals, organizers said.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2017 Alzheimer’s Dementia Facts and Figures report, there are approximately 148,000 Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers providing unpaid care in Utah.
“Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers provide care for a longer time, on average, than caregivers of older adults with other conditions. In fact, over half (57 percent) have provided care for four or more years,” Daniel said.
The conference will focus on caring for the caregiver, having conversations about end-of-life decisions and care and available community resources.
“This conference is an opportunity for caregivers to learn about taking care of themselves and resources available in the community,” said Lynn Meinor, Alzheimer’s State Plan Specialist with the Utah Department of Health.
The town hall meeting will also provide attendees the opportunity to voice concerns to local community partners and policy makers. Free respite care will be provided by Memory Matters by calling 435-319-0407. A live performance of “Portrait of a Caregiver” will also be presented at the conference.
In response to the predicted growth in the number of Utahns diagnosed with Alzheimers, the Utah State Legislature provided funding to the Department of Health in 2015 to implement the Utah State Plan for Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias.
- What: Dementia caregiver conference and town hall meeting.
- When: Wednesday, April 19, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Where: Dixie Regional Medical Center in the first floor Select Health Auditorium, located at 1424 E. Foremaster Drive, St. George.
- Cost: $10, which includes brunch.
- Registration for the conference is required and may be completed online here.
- For questions about the conference, contact Kara Dassel at 801-587-7697. For questions about the town hall meeting, contact Lynn Meinor with the Utah Department of Health at 801-538-6198.
Free resources for individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are available by calling the Alzheimer’s Association toll-free 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or by visiting the association online here.
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