Alzheimer’s Association hosts Family Caregiver Education Series

1 in 10 Americans is an Alzheimer caregiver, 1 in 10 has a family member with Alzheimer’s disease

The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter hosts its “Family Caregiver Education Series,” on four consecutive Tuesdays from September 5-26, all beginning at 3:30 p.m. at North Suburban Library/Loves Park, 6340 N. Second St., Loves Park in the meeting room.

“Our Caregiver Education Series is for any family member who cares for someone with memory loss and who wants information and help with coping with caregiving responsibilities,” said Melody Pearson, program manager of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter.

“Virtually all of us can benefit from this information, especially when it comes of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, because one in every three Americans knows someone with Alzheimer’s, one in 10 of us have a family member with the disease, and one in 10 is an Alzheimer caregiver,” she said. “In addition, people live with Alzheimer’s disease anywhere from three to 20 years, and most people with Alzheimer’s are cared for at home by family members and friends. Family caregivers will gain relevant information from this program series that they can apply as the family members’ needs change as the disease progresses and that they can use whatever kind of caregiving they provide.”

The Family Caregiver Education Series includes the following hour-long programs:

Memory Loss 101—Learn the common causes of memory loss, including Alzheimer’s disease; the stages of Alzheimer’s; the importance of a good medical examination; current research and treatments.

Responding to Communication Changes—Learn about the challenges to communicate faced by people with dementia and family caregivers, and tips and techniques to make communication the least frustrating as possible for everyone.

Understanding Challenging Behaviors—Learn to recognize common environmental and emotional “triggers” that can lead someone with memory loss to behave differently than before and to behave in ways that can be characterized as challenging.

Stress Management for Caregivers—Learn to minimize stress by recognizing the signs of stress, knowing the health implications of undue or unmanaged stress, the importance of caring for yourself as you also care for someone else, and stress management techniques.

The programs are free of charge, and participants are welcome to attend any number of programs in the series. Pre-registration is required for each program. Call the Alzheimer’s Association at (815) 484-1300 or register online at

Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) is a progressive disease that destroys brain cells and gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. The duration of Alzheimer’s ranges from three to 20 years after symptoms are experienced. Many scientists believe Alzheimer’s develops over several decades before people begin showing symptoms. Nationally, more than 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association, the world leader in Alzheimer research and support, is the first and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s. Since 1980, the donor-supported, nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association has provided reliable information and care consultation; created supportive services for families; increased funding for dementia research; and influenced public policy changes. The Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Illinois Chapter serves 68 counties in Illinois with offices in Bloomington, Carterville, Chicago, Joliet, Kankakee, Rockford, Skokie and Springfield. For more information, visit or call the chapter Helpline at (800) 272-3900.

From the Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2006, issue

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