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Caring for Older Adults Day-Long Seminar Set For July 28 at GMI
GREENEVILLE – Caring for older adults can be stressful – even overwhelming -- at times. A day-long seminar being offered this month hopes to help make the experience easier for everyone.

   Called “Applying Research To The Care Of The Older Adult,” the seminar will be held Wednesday, July 28, at the General Morgan Inn. Sessions will include practical information on topics ranging from the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, to how to make bathing less traumatic for frail, older adults.

   The event, which is being presented by Takoma Adventist Hospital’s Senior Care Behavioral Health Program, is open to professionals and the public.

   Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with classes starting at 8:45 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon, with time allotted to visit 14 vendor booths. Training will resume at 1 p.m.

   “The role of the caregiver has many rewards, but can also lead to depression, burnout or physical health problems,” Dianna Young, community nurse liaison for the Center For Behavioral Health at Takoma Hospital, said. “Both professional and family caregivers are vital community resources and keeping them healthy is at the heart of this seminar.”

   There are more than 500,000 caregivers in Tennessee, Young noted. “And by 2010, that number is expected to increase by 28 percent.”

   And, seven out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s Disease live at home, she said. “About eighty percent of their long-term care is provided at home by family and friends,” Young continued.

   “Clearly, there is a great need for helpful, relevant information for caregivers,” Young said. “Takoma is dedicated to being a strong, caring resource for them.”

   The lineup of speakers for the seminar includes:

·        Dr. Margaret Noel, the founder and director of the Memory Assessment Clinic and Eldercare Resource Center in Asheville, N.C., who will speak on “Diagnosis and Treatment for Dementia” from 8:45-9:45 a.m.;

·        Rhonda Malina, a nurse practitioner who is director of outpatient behavioral health at Takoma Adventist Hospital, and Sam Thomas, a pharmacist at Takoma, will discuss “Medications”  from 10-11 a.m.;

·        A panel discussion will be presented from 11 a.m.-noon by Dr. William Diebold, medical director of the Senior Care Behavioral Health Program; Patricia Chesnut, a licensed clinical social worker for Senior Care; Pamela Pullin, a nurse practitioner with Outpatient Behavioral Services at Takoma; and Angie Gwaltney, a family caregiver manager for First Tennessee Area Agency On Aging;

·        Carla Hyde of Park Ridge Hospital in Fletcher, N.C., will discuss “Making Bathing A Less Traumatic Experience” from 1-2:30 p.m.;

·        And Ruth Perschbacher, also of Park Ridge Hospital, will talk about “Five Ways To Gain Wisdom And Decrease Stress” from 3-4 p.m.

   Seating is limited. Reservations may be made in advance by calling Sue Scofield at 636-2426 or Dianna Young at 921-2354. The registration fee for professionals is $45. For non-paid family caregivers and students, the fee is $12. The fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, and handouts. Continued education credit is available upon request for $10.