#SpotlightOnCLT: Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter | SHARE Charlotte

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#SpotlightOnCLT: Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter

Written by Grace Kennedy    on March 22, 2021    in

Alzheimer’s is a disease that not only impacts the individual who is diagnosed, but those who care for them as well. Caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease may end up feeling isolated or overwhelmed by the challenges they face. With North Carolinians providing an estimated 517 million hours of unpaid care to people living with Alzheimer’s—a contribution valued at $7.3 billion—caregivers feelings this way are most definitely not alone. 

But the experience can still be lonely and oftentimes stressful, and the Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter wants to make sure these caregivers know they’re not alone. The nonprofit is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, providing patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in 49 central and western North Carolina counties. 

The team at the Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter is especially excited about an upcoming event designed to enhance care and support for Alzheimer’s caregivers, and they want to make sure you know about it so you can spread the word. 

The Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter and the Alzheimer’s Association, Eastern North Carolina Chapter are hosting the Confident Caregiver Symposium,  a four-part virtual education series in April. 

Knowing that many of the 358,000 Alzheimer’s caregivers in North Carolina will transition from care partners to hands-on caregivers during the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association is focusing this four-part series on helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care in this middle stage of Alzheimer’s.

“Our research shows a growing financial, physical and emotional toll on Alzheimer’s caregivers,  which is why the Alzheimer’s Association aims to enhance care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Western Carolina Chapter. “Programs like the Confident Caregiver Symposium are extremely helpful for preparing families and caregivers to meet the changes ahead and live well for as long as possible.”

Check out the presenters and topics being offered in the FREE Confident Caregiver Symposium:

Understanding the Progression of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Monday, April 12 from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

Presenter: Dr. Claire Sexton, director of Scientific Programs & Outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association

This program will cover the progression of Alzheimer's and other dementias particularly as the disease evolves in the middle stage. The presentation will explain what is occurring in the brain so that caregivers better understand what is driving changes in their loved one. Information about treatments on the horizon and clinical trials will also be shared.

Caregiving in the Middle Stage of Alzheimer’s and Dementia: From Care Partner to Caregiver

Wednesday, April 14 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Presenter: Bobbi Matchar, MSW, MHA, director of the Duke Dementia Family Support Program

This program will cover how to balance safety with autonomy for the individual living with Alzheimer's and tips for changes in daily activities and medication management. 


Caregivers Talk, A Panel: Experiences and Insights of Caregiving

Wednesday, April 14 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Panelists Include: Dr. Paul Brown (caregiver/speaker/author), Barbara Ivey (certified dementia practitioner/author), and Elizabeth Reinstein (caregiver)

This program will include panelists who will share their experiences and insights of caregiving from a variety of perspectives such as spouse and adult child (caregiver/care partner).

Communication, Behavior, and Intimacy: A Deeper Dive into Interpersonal Changes

Thursday, April 15 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Presenter: Alyssa Szymanski Botte, MA, MDiv, LCMHC, psychotherapist at New Day Counseling

This program will cover changes in communication and behavior and how these affect our relationships including intimacy. 

The four-part series is open to individuals with a recent diagnosis and/ or in the middle stages of Alzheimer's and related dementia diseases, their families and care-partners. General public interested in learning more about planning, resources, and services that are available may also attend. Registrants will be automatically enrolled in all four sessions and may attend all or just those sessions that fit best their schedule and interests.  Attendees can attend via video/webinar or through a toll-free number. There is no charge to participate, but registration is required. Click here to register online or call 1-800-272-3900.

 Learn about more local nonprofits who serve and support individuals facing chronic disease, as well as their families, here