Virtual conference

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America invites Tennessee residents to a free virtual conference | Local News

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America will host a free educational conference for Tennessee residents on June 15. The conference will be held virtually from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. EDT.

According to the AFA, more than 6.2 million Americans and 120,000 Tennessees live with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking and language skills, as well as the ability to perform simple tasks and is the most common cause of dementia. However, dementia itself is not a disease, but a term used to describe symptoms such as memory loss, loss of judgment and other intellectual functions.

“Knowledge is a useful and powerful tool that can help ease navigation in any situation, especially something as difficult as caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease,” said said AFA President and CEO Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. in a press release. “Connecting families with useful and practical information and support that can help them now and be better prepared for the future is what this conference is about. Whether Alzheimer’s disease affects your family, you as a caregiver, or you just want to learn more, you can join this free virtual conference from the comfort of your home or office.

The conference will include presentations by Frederick A. Schmitt on the course of Alzheimer’s disease, Chelsea Ridley on Alzheimer’s disease as a public health issue, and Lynn Wood on challenging behaviors that caregivers can be faced with. confronted.

Schmitt is a professor of neurology at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute at the University of Kentucky and a member of the AFA Medical, Science and Memory Screening Advisory Board. Ridley is a registered nurse and dementia-friendly community coordinator with the Tennessee Department of Health’s Office of Patient Care Advocacy in Nashville.

Wood is a Certified Dementia Specialist and a Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer. She is the Caregiver Support Coordinator for Mental Health America of the Midsouth, Tennessee.

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“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia,” Wood said. “What you have are personality changes. You have communication difficulties. We see mobility issues starting to occur due to visual decline.

There are three stages of Alzheimer’s disease, early, middle and late. Signs of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting words or something just read, misplacing objects, repeating questions over and over, increased difficulty in planning or organizing and not remembering names when meeting new people. Middle stage symptoms include increased memory loss and confusion, problems recognizing family and friends, continuous repetition of stories and wishes or favorite movements, reduced ability to perform complex tasks or dealing with personal finances, a lack of concern for hygiene and appearance, and the need for help choosing appropriate clothes to wear for the day, season or occasion.

In the advanced stage, there is almost total memory loss. The individual may recognize faces but forget names, confuse a person with someone else, have delusions, or feel a strong need to hold something close for tactile stimulation, nurturing, companionship, and comfort. Basic abilities such as eating, walking, and sitting may become difficult during this phase, and the individual may need assistance with all basic activities of daily living.

“As caregivers, we have to adapt to the person who is living with the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, because the person with this diagnosis can no longer adapt to us. [Their] brain is deteriorating, and they no longer have that ability,” Wood said. “We can deal with them rummaging, spinning, wandering, hallucinating, delusional, all of which are possible with a diagnosis of dementia or a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. You just can’t say ‘Mom, he doesn’t ‘there’s no one there, so forget it’, because in their reality, there’s someone around. So you have to be able to communicate and redirect them.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit Those unable to attend the virtual conference or who have immediate questions about Alzheimer’s disease can connect with licensed social workers through the AFA’s National Toll-Free Helpline by calling 866-232-8484 or chatting on the web at

“It takes a whole village to raise an elderly person living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” Wood said. “So we all have to come together to talk about it, not to be ashamed, not to be afraid. And I think with conferences like this, the more we know, the less we can be afraid of this journey.

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