By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Expert on Dementia Care to Present in Glasgow


September 19, 2018

A group of community health groups are sponsoring a dementia care seminar for caregivers and community professionals Sept. 25, 26, and 27 at the Cottonwood Inn. The seminar will feature dementia care trainer and consultant Heather McKay who will present the three days in an effort to help caregivers and community professionals better understand Alzheimer’s and dementia.

McKay is an award-winning occupational therapist and dementia care specialist, consultant, international trainer and currently serves as the director of disease management for Hospice of Alamance-Caswell and Life Path Home Health in North Carolina. McKay blends her past personal experiences with dementia care and seamlessly teaches from both perspectives.

In addition to the practical skills of understanding and caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, according to Amber Swindler, Adminstrator at Prairie Ridge Home, McKay will also touch on the, “the heart-warming side of things.” Swindler and Robbie Younkin, with the MSU Extension Office, said that 1 in 10 adults over 65 or 5.7 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's and that number is expected to increase over 123 percent by 2025.

“Truly if you aren’t affected by it you will be,” emphasized Swindler. The training will also focus on recognizing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s which in some cases can set in as early as the late fifties. Once symptoms begin to be recognizable the survival rate can vary as dramatically as four to 20 years according to Younkin and Swindler.

Day one of the training will focus on families and caregivers with the presentation being open and free to the public starting at 10 a.m. and going to 6 p.m. Preregistration is encouraged. Day two and three will focus on training and awareness for professionals. The presentations begin at 8:30 a.m. and go to 5 p.m. Lunch will be provided and professional training includes a fee.

Robbie Younkin summed up the need for the training saying, “People just need to come. They need to feel like it’s not just for somebody else. Everybody is affected by it.”

Contact the Valley County Extension Office at 228-6241 or Prairie Ridge Village at 228-2208 for more information or to register. The seminar was sponsored by Valley County Respite, Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, Valley View Home, Prairie Ridge Village, and the MSU Extension Office.


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