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Organizers discuss details for the “Surviving Caregiving” conference set for Jan. 27 at Thomas University. Participating in the discussion are (from left) Dr. Ann Landis, TU Executive Vice President and Provost; Betty Sawyer, Director of Social Services at Plantation Manor; and Dr. Steve DePaola, TU Associate Professor of Psychology. 

 

TU to hold conference for Alzheimer’s patient caregivers

As the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continues to increase, so does the number of caregivers required for those people. On Jan. 27, Thomas University will host “Surviving Caregiving,” a conference to provide information for the caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and those professionals who work with them.

“I know of no other disease that touches the whole family like Alzheimer’s,” said Betty Sawyer, Director of Social Services at Plantation Manor in Thomasville. “The more people we can reach with information, the better.”

The idea for the conference grew from the Alzheimer Caregivers Support Group that Sawyer has led at Plantation Manor for the past decade.

“The nature of the disease is so isolating, and family members get pulled into that isolation,” said Dr. Ann Landis, TU Executive Vice President and Provost. “We need to reach out to them.”

The conference will begin at 11 a.m. inside the Campus Center, located on the Thomas University Main Campus. The event will begin with a panel discussion featuring spouses or children of Alzheimer’s patients. Panelists include Doris Gilmore, Harriet Walden, Jay Riddenhower and Lois Sise.

Lunch will be provided as part of the conference. Afterward, participants will hear from Bill Wertman, Director of Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. in Tallahassee. Wertman is also an adjunct instructor in TU’s Division of Social Work.

“Surviving Caregiving” is sponsored by Thomas University and the Jim Neill Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. Participants will also receive a copy of the book “The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss.”

For more information about “Surviving Caregiving,” contact Steve DePaola at (229) 740-1181 or Betty Sawyer at (229) 227-0880.

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