As part of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Western Carolina Chapter is offering free education programs and support groups to help caregivers and their families.

Featured programs include:

• Caregiving through the Holidays (in-person, Brevard, North Carolina, Nov. 4) — For many caregivers the holiday season gives rise to stress, frustration and anger instead of peace and goodwill. This program is designed to teach caregivers to care for themselves, their loved ones, and about holiday safety all while giving suggestions that may make the holidays more enjoyable for you and your loved ones.

• Caregiver & Provider Roundtable — Dementia Resources, Opportunities and Challenges for the LGBTQ Community (virtual, Nov. 9) – This presentation will focus on the latest updates to resources for the LGBTQ communities in North Carolina. Hear from representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team, as well as local organizations and faith leaders across the state.

• 10 Ways to Help a Family (virtual, Nov. 18) — Often individuals don’t know how best to help a family affected by Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease. Frequently, caregivers are unsure how to ask for help or what assistance to even ask for. Join for a brief overview of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and the challenges caregivers may face followed by a panel discussion exploring tips for how to help a family and caregiver.

In 2020, friends and family of those with Alzheimer’s in North Carolina provided an estimated 517 million hours of unpaid care, a contribution valued at $7.3 billion. According to the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report, 83% of the help provided to older adults in the U.S. comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. And nearly half of all caregivers (48%) who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Caregivers of people with dementia report providing an average of 92 hours of care per month.

The demands of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver are all-encompassing and increase over time as the disease progresses.

“During this month and throughout the year, we celebrate the heroic contributions of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, while also raising awareness about the unique challenges caregivers face,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter. “Never have the efforts of caregivers been tested more than during the past year and a half. That is why we are committed to supporting caregivers now more than ever.”

For a complete list of upcoming virtual programs, or to register for a program, visit act.alz.org/ncmonthlyprograms or call 800-272-3900.

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