Now in its 11th year in Delaware, the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter‘s annual conference is here.
Hundreds of Alzheimer’s professional and family caregivers are taking part in the day-long event at Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center. This year’s theme, “Partners in Creative Care.”
“This year’s theme is about providing a way to bring new alternatives or new thought process to care — to look more at person-centered care and making sure that we are providing opportunities for people to think outside the box,” said Claire Day, Vice President of Constituent Services for the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter.
Featuring break-out seminars and keynote speaker, Jolene Brackey, author of Creating Moments of Joy, the conference hopes to reinvigorate nurses, home aides and family caregivers by presenting creative solutions intended to ease the caregiving burden. For example, Day says, engaging the patient in personal tasks like bathing, dressing and brushing teeth can actually make those daily activities more meaningful and enjoyable for both partners.
“Resistance to care really comes from frustration on everybody’s part. And the more you can make someone feel like they have an active part of the process, the better off it is,” said Day.
Day adds the one day conference also gives caregivers physically exhausted from the demands of 24/7 care, and emotionally drained from watching their loved ones fade away as the disease progresses, an opportunity to see they’re not alone.
“What’s really interesting about it is how much each learn from the other… It brings an opportunity for family caregivers to see the professional side, the day-to-day professional side, but it also brings a great deal of awareness to professionals who sometimes forget how personal it is for family members who are dealing with this,” Day said.
The Alzheimer’s Association is a voluntary health organization committed to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The Delaware Valley Chapter is the local arm of the national organization and is based in Philadelphia; however, the organization also has a Delaware Regional Office, located at 240 N. James Street in Newport, as well as a 24/7/365 Helpline, 800-272-3900.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Alzheimer’s is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death, affecting more than five million people across the country. In Delaware alone, as many as 26-thousand are affected by the disease.