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A dementia care expert will be at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center in Weatherford Tuesday, May 27, to help professional and family caregivers struggling with the everyday challenges of caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Heather McKay will present a free half-day seminar on “Becoming a Confident Caregiver,” beginning at 10 a.m. and including lunch. The program is sponsored by the North Central Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
McKay says she is on a mission to help caregivers understand the science behind degenerative brain diseases and recognize behaviors that are typical of people with dementia-related conditions so the caregivers can better deal with day-to-day challenges.
The goal is to improve patient outcomes through caregiver education. McKay says she especially wants caregivers to better understand why their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease say the things they say and do the things they do.
She will discuss in simple terms the changes that take place in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and how these changes manifest themselves in specific behaviors and language.
She will outline strategies for communicating with people at various stages of dementia and teach seminar participants to recognize different levels of ability so that they may offer the appropriate type and amount of assistance needed.
“She has earned high praise for her lively style and useful tips and personal anecdotes at our previous care giver seminars in Wichita Falls, Abilene, Waco, Arlington and Fort Worth,” said Shelly Young, program manager for the Alzheimer’s Association – North Central Texas. “We are very pleased to bring her inspiring talk to Weatherford.”
An occupational therapist and dementia care specialist, McKay is the owner of Partnerships for Health, a company providing training and consultation for health care professionals, families, students and community organizations, including veterans’ groups.
The program is underwritten by the Billie Clark Fund for Rural Education Initiatives and the Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas. Reservations are requested. To reserve a place, call Young at 800-272-3900.