Alan Green

Special to the Herald

It has been 100 years since Dr. Alois Alzheimer first reported the damage done to the brain by the disease that today carries his name. There were many advances in medicine during the 20th century, including vaccinations and cures for the leading diseases of the day. But not so with Alzheimer’s. A lot has been discovered about the disease.

On Thursday, there will be an opportunity to learn how to help those affected by the disease during Alzheimer’s Awareness day with classes offered at Clinton Community College. The classes, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, Generations Area Agency on Aging and SeniorCare 411, will cover how to understand the illness, recognize the signs, treatment and communication tips on how to effectively interact with someone with the disease. The program is aimed at family caregivers, the general public and professional caregivers. Attendees will also learn about the availability of community services and end-of-life care. There will be numerous display exhibits with information about those services, including Seniors vs. Crime.

Presenters will include representatives from the Alzheimer’s Association, Senior Care 411, Iowa Hospice and Amedisys Home Health Care.

Attendees will learn how to:

• Gain an understanding of the disease, history and how it compares to other types of dementia.

• Identify the signs of Alzheimer’s and how they differ from normal memory loss associated with aging.

• How to best communicate with Alzheimer’s patients.

• How to prevent difficult behaviors and reduce stressful interactions.

• Identify end-of-life issues and strategies for providing end-of-life care.

• Identify service providers.

• How to take specific steps family members can do to connect with appropriate professional services.

The event is free and a free lunch will be provided. The classes will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 pm. To register, call Clinton Community College at 244-7100. This is a great opportunity to learn up-to-date information on how to care for and relate to someone with Alzheimer’s.

Seniors vs. Crime may be contacted at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, 242-9211, Ext. 4433.

Alan Green is the director of Seniors vs. Crime, which operates in conjunction with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.      

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