Pasco News

Alzheimer’s Association to start six-week caregiver program

Taking care of a loved one with a disease can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the proper knowledge and resources.

Starting on Tuesday, Sept. 2, the Florida Gulf Coast chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting a free, six-week caregiver education program series at the Regency Park Branch Library.

The objective of the Alzheimer’s education series is to teach caregivers, family, friends, and healthcare professionals about how to take care of people with Alzheimer’s. The program also teaches the participants about the basic knowledge of the disease and the latest treatments and research.

Topics that will be covered in the program include proper communication, dealing with safety issues, local resources, managing caregiver stress and planning for the future.

The program will feature several guests, including Karla Lindeen, the program specialist for the Florida Gulf Coast chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Lori Krinkey, the adult services librarian at Regency Park, believes that the program will give caregivers the resources and knowledge they need.

“It’s very easy for Alzheimer’s caregivers to be overwhelmed with the amount of care necessary for their loved one,” Krinkey said. “It’s such a hard thing to deal with, so I think it will be very beneficial.”

The program will take place 2 p.m. Tuesdays, starting Sept. 2 at Regency Park Branch, 9701 Little Road.

For reservations contact Karla Lindeen at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Pinellas office at (727) 578-2558.

The Alzheimer’s Association listed facts about the prevalence of the disease on its website:

•An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, including approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

•Almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer’s are women.

•The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will escalate rapidly in coming years as the baby boom generation ages. By 2050, the number may nearly triple to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs.

•More than 500,000 seniors die each year because they have Alzheimer’s, the sixth leading cause of death in the nation and the fifth leading cause of death for those ages 65 and older.

•Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010, while deaths from other major diseases decreased.

•In 2013, 15.5 million family members and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. That care is valued at $220.2 billion, which is nearly eight times the total revenue of McDonald’s in 2012.

•Because of the physical and emotional burden of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2013.

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