​Caring for people with dementia is a daunting job and caregivers are often presented with challenging problems. The Prince William Area Agency on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association® National Capital Area Chapter want caregivers to know that they aren’t alone and there are resources available to help.

The upcoming Prince William Area Dementia Caregivers Symposium is free and will be held in the Board Chambers at the McCoart Government Center between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. The program will offer tips on how to help caregivers and the person with disease have a better experience bathing, dressing and grooming. The program will also provide tips on effective communication.

“Caregiving for adults can be very challenging,” said Jane Priest the regional manager for Programs and Services, ​ Alzheimer’s Association® Capital Area Chapter, who will give the talk “Let’s Wash Up” at the second annual symposium. Priest’s talk will offer guidance to help with personal care for people with dementia. “Bathing is often the most difficult personal care activity that caregivers face. This symposium will offer techniques and caregiving tips that are designed to help guide the caregiver to successful interactions and foster positive results.”

Lindsey Vajpeyi, director of education for Insight Memory Care Center, will present “Strategies for Effective Communication in the Mid-Stages of Dementia” during the symposium.

Priest said the mid-stages of dementia are usually when people with dementia first exhibit the inability to care for themselves. “The mid-stages generally represent the individual’s gradual inability to provide daily life care for themselves. They gradually lose the ability to find their way about, prepare food to eat, bathe, toilet, groom or dress themselves. Gradually, they need care oversight 24/7.”

Also during the program, Courtney Tierney, the director of the county’s Department of Social Services, will give attendees an update on the Virginia Alzheimer’s State Plan.

Priest said skills gained at the symposium should help make imposing tasks a little more bearable. “Striving to understand and respond to dementia-related behaviors in such a way to achieve a positive interaction during daily life is what dementia caregivers face every day. Having information, education, caregiver tips and best practices for care empowers the whole family, especially the primary caregiver.”

The event is free, and refreshments and box lunches will be provided. However, seating is limited. Please sign up by calling 703-766-9018 or emailing jpriest@alz.org.

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