The Times West Virginian

January 11, 2014

Workshop on Alzheimer’s, dementia Monday

Event for caregivers and others interested

By Kristen Talerico
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter is offering a free community workshop at 4 p.m. Monday for caregivers and those who are interested in information on the basics of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The location of the workshop is 1299 Pineview Drive, Suite 3, Morgantown.

Amy Ernst, program director for the West Virginia Alzheimer’s Association, said topics that will be covered in the workshop include an overview of the disease process; effects on the brain (communication, memory, speech and language); and how to define the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“Alzheimer’s is one disease process, and its primary group of symptoms is dementia. Dementia is not a disease, but rather a term that defines a group of symptoms,” Ernst said.

She encouraged anyone who is interested in Alzheimer’s disease, someone who might be in early diagnoses, or an adult caring for a loved one with the disease to attend these workshops.

The main goal of the workshop is to get people the best information and to enhance their knowledge of the disease as a disease process and how they can move forward as a caregiver, Ernst said.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 48,000 people in the North Central West Virginia region live with the disease, and 10 percent are younger than the age of 65.

Other workshops will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 19 (knowing the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s) and Feb. 20 (two-hour professional training). Those interested can call 304-599-1159 for more information.

For anyone who is not able to attend these workshops, they are available for presentation within the community, but calling the office is the best way to ensure that can be made possible, Ernst added.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the only voluntary health organization in West Virginia solely dedicated to providing education, support service and advocacy on behalf of individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, their families and caregivers.

The West Virginia chapter serves all 55 counties and six counties in eastern Ohio.

The association is the largest private funder of Alzheimer’s disease research in the world.

Email Kristen Talerico at ktalerico@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KTalericoTWV.