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Free dementia caregivers symposium at PWC’s McCoart Center on Saturday, June 9

Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter and the Prince William Area Agency on Aging will present the second annual Prince William Area Dementia Caregivers Symposium on Saturday, June 9. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Let’s Wash Up!”

According to a news release, people with dementia slowly become less able to take care of themselves. At first, a person may need only prompting or a little help, but eventually caregivers will become responsible for all personal care. Loss of independence and privacy can be very difficult. The symposium will cover topics to help both the person with the disease and the caregiver have a better experience with bathing, dental care, dressing and grooming.

“Bathing is often the most difficult personal care activity that caregivers face,” said Jane Priest, programs and services manager with the Alzheimer’s Association. “If the person with dementia views bathing as scary, embarrassing, unpleasant or uncomfortable, he or she may communicate his or her discomfort by verbally and/or physically resisting attempts to bathe. In some cases this can escalate and become be unsafe and upsetting for all who are involved.”

Dental care, dressing and grooming also present challenges as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia progress. A person with dementia may forget the importance of oral care, how to dress, or perform grooming tasks, like combing hair, caring for fingernails or shaving.

Because Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias gradually diminish a person’s ability to communicate, frustration levels can increase both for the person with the disease and the caregiver. Symposia presenters will discuss how communication changes in the middle and late stages of the disease and provide tips to help the caregiver prepare, make adjustments and know how to respond.

The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the James J. McCoart Administration Building, at 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge. Participation is free. Refreshments and a box lunch will be provided. Seating is limited. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 703.766.9018.

About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit or call 800-272-3900.

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