African American Caregivers Forum Set for October 6

African American families and caregivers, health care and social services professionals, and older adults who want to learn more about dementia are invited to attend the 7th annual African American Caregivers Forum on Saturday, October 6 (see calendar).

KOMO 4 consumer advocate Connie Thompson is no stranger to caregiving.

Keynote speaker Connie Thompson, KOMO 4 News Anchor and Consumer Advocate, is no stranger to the challenges faced by caregivers. For several years, Connie and her sisters have provided emotional, social and physical support for their mother in her daily struggle with dementia.

This year's theme—"Finding Your Way: Resources for the Journey"—is carried out by experts in the field of brain science and dementia, including:

  • Michael Bower, BA, ACC, who will provide hands-on tools for interacting with individuals with dementia-related behaviors.
  • Bill Caldwell and Taylene Watson, LICSW, ACSW, who will discuss respite care and alternative housing options and explore how to determine the right time to place a loved one in community-based care.
  • Stephanie Mehl, RN, MS, who will give caregivers a better understanding of palliative and hospice care, and when to shift the focus of care to comfort to ensure respect and dignity until the end of life.

In addition, Edna Daigre, Lynnette Wells, Jacqueline Carpenter, and Eudora Lowery Carter will discuss self-value and reverence for life through music, exercises, dance, massage therapy, and healthy eating.

A guest panel will explore options for paying for long-term care, what COPES is and how you can access it, and the important medical and legal things you need to know in caring for your loved one.

The cost to attend is $25 for family caregivers and $50 for professionals. Register online on the Alzheimer's Association event page. For more information about the forum, e-mail AACForum2012@alzwa.org or call 206-529-3894.

Sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association Western and Central Washington State Chapter. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.alzwa.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.