Events planned for Dementia Caregivers Week, Nov. 7-10
FACT: Those caring for a loved one with dementia contribute greatly to the quality of the life of their loved one, but serious consequences can be created for the caregiver due to the physical, mental, emotional and financial burdens caregiving creates.
Know that you are not alone. The AARP Public Policy Institute and the Alzheimer’s Association Facts & Figures found there are an estimated 41 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S. caring for older adults. Of that, 11 million are providing unpaid care for a loved one with dementia.
You might be new to this role, you might have been doing this for a while or you might see caregiving in your near future. Regardless, there are always things you can learn and do that will help you and your loved one as you work together.
November is both National Caregivers Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. To help support our caregivers, UK HR Elder Care is partnering with the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging to host Dementia Caregivers Week Nov. 7-10, a week that will offer four unique opportunities over a four-day period to help caregivers deal with the hardships and heartbreaks of caregiving.
I hope you can join us for all or some of the following events.
Tuesday, Nov. 7
Virtual Dementia Tour
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what life with dementia is like? What would you see, feel, hear and comprehend? Why would you do the things you do?
The Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT), a product of Second Wind Dreams, is a powerful simulation that allows participants to experience the life of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias. VDT uses an in-person, evidence-based method that helps caregivers gain an understanding and build a sensitivity to the needs of those living with dementia. Using sensory tools and instruction that alter your senses to mimic the various manifestations of dementia, you will be guided through common everyday tasks and exercises. The tour allows you to experience for yourself the physical and cognitive challenges those with dementia face.
*Please note: This does not provide a diagnosis of whether someone has dementia or will develop dementia later in their life.
This is a unique experience. Here is what prior attendees have said about the Virtual Dementia Tour:
“I had no idea.”
“Everyone on the planet needs to experience this!”
“Now I get it. It never ends for them and it’s my job to make people with dementia feel safe and secure as I can.”
“It’s the disease behaving badly, not the person.”
*Beville, P.K. (2017) Second Wind Dreams, Virtual Dementia Tour “Your Window into Their World”
Details of the event
When: Tuesday, Nov. 7 | 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Appointments for the tour are required and sessions are scheduled on the quarter-hour.
Where: Gaines Center for the Humanities, Commonwealth House, 2nd floor | 226 East Maxwell St.
*Please note this building is NOT handicap accessible.
Registration: To register for an in-person appointment time, click here.
● Monday, Sept. 18 for UK employees and retirees
● Monday Sept. 25 for non-UK folks
Representatives from the following organizations will be on hand to share additional information:
Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging & Independent Living
Bluegrass Care Navigators
Bluegrass Elder Abuse Prevention Council
Dementia Friendly Lexington
UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging
Parking is not provided.
Visitor Parking Options:
E Lot parking may be available if you have a Single-Day Permit (aka "Scratch-Off" Permit).
- Joe Craft E Lot – directly behind the Gaines Center between Rose Street and Lexington Avenue
Linden Walk area E Lots
1. Helen King Alumni Center
2. Stuckert Career Center
3. William E. and Casiana Schmidt Vocal Arts Center.
- The corner of High Street and Lexington Avenue E Lot
Bill Gatton Student Center Surface Lot – located off Avenue of Champions – rate $2/hour
Street parking may be available along Lexington Avenue – rate $2/hour
For more information or to find a map of the campus, please visit UK Transportation Services.
Wednesday, Nov. 8
My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
Former Wisconsin Gov. Marty Schreiber will be our special guest speaker and discuss his book “My Two Elaines.”
Schreiber provided care for his wife, Elaine, who lived with Alzheimer’s disease for nearly 20 years. When Elaine moved to memory care, Marty authored a book and made hundreds of appearances nationwide, traveling to every corner of Wisconsin and more than 28 states to talk about his experiences as a caregiver. He seeks to help other caregivers learn, cope and survive by sharing what he wished he had known.
In the book, Gov. Schreiber candidly counsels those taking on this caregiving role. More than an account of Marty’s struggles in caring for his wife, “My Two Elaines” also offers sage advice that respects the one with Alzheimer’s while maintaining the caregiver’s health. As two-thirds of those with Alzheimer’s are women, he offers special guidance for men thrust into an unexpected job. With patience, adaptability and even a sense of humor, Marty shows how love continues for his Second Elaine.
Five autographed hardcovered books, which were generously donated by the Bluegrass Elder Abuse Prevention Council, will be raffled off to those in attendance.
To register for this online event, click here.
Thursday, Nov. 9
Creative Writing, Caring for the Caregiver
With UK HR mental health therapists Eric Wilkinson and Rhonda Henry.
Creative writing is a process we can use to find our voice and tell our caregiver story. It can help us find reason and meaning through inward reflection and allows us to pause for a moment from all the extraneous noise to find what is truly meaningful to us. Creative writing allows us to look at both the joys and challenges of our caregiving experience.
Studies have shown that creative writing can increase our overall well-being. It helps alleviate stress, allowing for an increase in mental, emotional and physical health.
No previous writing experience is necessary.
To register for this online event, click here.
Friday, Nov. 10
A Closer Look at Dementia: A 2-Part Discussion
9:30 – 11 a.m.
In-Person (attendance is limited to 20 participants) and via Zoom
Dr. Peter Nelson, MD, PhD, UK Sanders Brown Center on Aging
Dr. Gregory Jicha, MD, PhD, UK Sanders Brown Center on Aging
Dementia is not a normal part of aging. It is not technically an illness, but a collection of symptoms that affect different aspects of our brain function such as memory, judgement, reasoning and social abilities. It is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. It is one of the world’s leading causes of death and despite recent advances, has no cure. We have two great programs to help you understand dementia at a deeper level.
What is dementia and how does it affect the brain?
Dr. Peter Nelson will discuss (and show us) the pathology of dementia, how it alters healthy brain cells, and in turn, how that interferes with our daily living.
Diagnosis and treatment
Dr. Gregory Jicha will explain how a dementia diagnosis is made and what treatment options are available. Although there is no cure yet, an early diagnosis gives you access to more treatment options and provides an opportunity to participate in a wider variety of clinical trials. An early diagnosis also allows you and your family more time to plan for the future and to accomplish the things you always wanted to.
To Register for both the event, both in-person event and Zoom, click here.
Our goal for Dementia Caregivers Week is to provide you with useful information and practical tools that can help you with your day-to-day caregiving responsibilities. Every person with dementia experiences the condition differently and caregivers have to respond to the experiences they see. These events can help you gain a better understanding of what it is like to live with dementia.
We hope you can join us.
Dementia Caregivers Week Planning Committee
Terri Applegate-Weber – HR Work Life/Elder Care
Azetta Beatty, HR Work Life Manager
Sarah Hatch, Social Worker, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging
Angela Holloman, Program Manager, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging
Candy Pettry, Elder Care Navigator, UKMC
Elizabeth Rhodus, Asst. Professor, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging
April Staufer, Program Coordinator, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging