ALTC's Caregiver Conference is planned for Nov. 4

The all-day informational workshop will feature speaker Teepa Snow

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On Nov. 4, Aging and Long Term Care, or ALTC, will host its 13th Caregiver Conference, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge, No. 287. The annual event is a place for caregivers to gather and validate their remarkable work while increasing their skills and understanding. Funding for the Caregiver Conference is provided by the Blue Mountain Community Foundation, the Family Caregiver Support Program and the Alzheimer's Association -- Inland Northwest Chapter.

This year's conference will be an all-day informational workshop featuring well-known speaker Teepa Snow.

Snow is an occupational therapist working as a specialist in dementia care and education. With more than 28 years of experience in geriatrics, she has developed several training videos and presents workshops across the country.

According to Mary Cleveland, local program coordinator at ALTC, Snow is an incredible speaker. "She's just amazing," said Cleveland. "She takes on the personalities of some of these people she's worked with. It's a real good overview of dementia, and very educational. It's going to be really enjoyable. She does a session on communication and how to communicate effectively with dementia patients."

Presenting the sensitive issues with compassion and humor helps the caregiver audience approach the contact with a more positive attitude, focusing on what you can control and taking stress relief for yourself seriously.

Another part of the workshop will address safety issues, such as Alzheimer's patients wandering away and getting lost or injured. There will be information about the ID programs and the Safe Return programs to help protect those with the disease and their loved ones.

The free conference is targeted for those in the caregiving profession and the unpaid family caregivers. Cleveland said, "It's for anyone who wants to learn more and especially, those family caregivers, those unpaid heroes. It's free to the community but you need to register at ALTC so we know how many tables to set up."

Lunch will not be provided, but Cleveland said there are plenty of options, including bringing a sack lunch or area delis and restaurants.

To register, call ALTC at 509-529-6470 by Oct. 27.

Karlene Ponti can be reached by calling 509-526-8324 or by e-mail at karleneponti@wwub.com.

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